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Published by membersonly, 2018-05-31 13:13:37


2nd June 2018

Number 1305 (Items 1006 - 1131 & MR 93 - MR 105) (E-BLN 60 PAGES) 2 June 2018


Published twice monthly by the Branch Line Society - founded 1955


Membership Enquiries, Alan Welsh [email protected]
22 Treemount Court, Grove Avenue, Epsom, KT17 4DU. 01372 728677

British Isles news from member7s2; 8a6n7i7nternational section is available.
Opinions herein are not necessaarivlyaitlahbolsee. of the Compilers or the Society.

…..B BLN 1306 is dated Sat 23 JunSeoc.iNetBy.3SoWcieEtEyK. GAP;. all contributions by Wed 13 June please.

1006] Shhh! Silent Auction: (BLN 1302.388) Thanks to our member Phil Marsh. An unusual chance
to bid for two pairs of tickets on the first passenger train from the new Princes Risborough P4.
Please email bids by 16 June: [email protected] with contact details (or via the BLN Editor).
The money helps the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway's new extension to Princes Risborough.

Date Event and details BLN Lead Status

Sat 2 Jun PM: The Arlington Explorer EXTRA PLACES AVAILABLE 1304 JE OPEN

 1304 JE OPEN

Sat 9 Jun 10.30-13.30 Great Bush Railway (2ft gauge) track/traction

 1304 JE OPEN
1304 JE OPEN
Sat 9 Jun 14.30-16.30 Bentley Miniature Railway all line railtour

Sun 10 Jun The Sopwith Camel with Chiltern Railways to Calvert Tip

Wed 13 Jun 18.00 Crewe Heritage Centre .NOW INCLUDES RARE TRACK. 1301 JE OPEN

 1298 JE FULL

Thur 14 Jun The Nosey Peaker, Stafford 08.30 / Crewe 17.00 FULL

Fri 22 Jun *NEW* 10.00 Conwy Valley signal boxes charitable visits Below BC *OPEN*
Sun 1 Jul Below JE *OPEN*
11-12 Jul  1302 JE Enquire

Ketton Cement Works railtour: EXTRA PLACES AVAILABLE

Wed/Thur: BLS Cornwall Tracker: APPLY (WAITING LIST)

Sat 21 Jul Middlesbrough Goods, AV Dawson, new track & traction 1297 JE OPEN

 1301 JE OPEN

Thur 2 Aug 12.45 Spa Valley Railway afternoon rare track excursion

 Below JE *OPEN*

Sat 4 Aug *NEW* 14.00 Wester Pickston Railway, Methven, Perth

 1301 JE OPEN

Sun 5 Aug Invergarry & Fort Augustus Railway standard gauge rides

Sat 18 Aug 09.30 Summer Scunthorpe Steeler tour No16 *NOW OPEN* Below JE *OPEN*

 1300 JE OPEN

Sat 25 Aug 09.30-10.30 Blenheim Park Railway (15" gauge) railtour

 1299 JE Enquire

Sat 25 Aug 12.00-16.00 Beeches Light Railway APPLY (WAITING LIST)

Mon 27 Aug Summer Scunthorpe Steeler tour Redated to Sat 18 August TBA TBA Claimed

Mon 27 Aug The Marching Crompton track & traction Bank Holiday tour Below JE *OPEN*

Mon 27 Aug Llanelli & Mynydd Mawr Railway, riding visit & extra track Below JE *OPEN*

Sat 15 Sep Save the date - loco hauled tour - multiple freight terminals TBA TBA Claimed

Sat 13 Oct East to West Midlands Railtour Redated to Sat 17 November TBA TBA Claimed

26-28 Oct Yorkshire weekend AGM, various fixtures & film show/buffet TBA TBA Claimed

Sat 17 Nov REDATED East-West Midlands Railtour - a very unusual first TBA TBA Claimed

16-19 May Island of Ireland IV (2019) - reserve the dates TBA TBA Claimed

BC-Barnaby Clark, JE-Jill Everitt, TBA-To Be Advised,  = book online at

ABOVE: Some miniature men on our 2016 tour at Wester Pickston (Simon Mortimer).

1007] .Sopwith Camel. Sun 10 Jun: London participants for our tour (seats available) should note
that Marylebone station is shut all day. Take the 08.35 Metropolitan train from Baker Street to
Amersham (09.24) instead for the 09.32 Chiltern connection to Aylesbury (09.53). Afterwards a
farewell Park Royal line (closes Dec) trip is possible. It has an all day half-hourly service to/from
Paddington P14 (item 1040).

X.65] .Crewe Heritage Centre. Wed 13 Jun 18.00-21.00: A Class 37 photographic evening with the
Society. Three DRS Class 37s (for the following day's 'The Nosey Peaker' BLS railtour) with the Heritage
Centre's 37108 posed together. All profits will be shared equally between Crewe Heritage Centre and
Railway Children. Of track interest, the miniature railway will run with all available locos and now
includes rare track. Subject to volunteer availability, the café is selling drinks and light refreshments
with, weather permitting, hot BBQ food. It is hoped, in return for a small extra on the day donation, to
have supervised cab visits from platform height. £10 per person in advance only at our website or via
Jill Everitt. Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.

1008] .Conwy Valley Signal Boxes, Fri 22 Jun: 10.00 Llandudno Junction station for Llandudno,
Deganwy, Llandudno Junction, Tal-y-Cafn (Gate Box) and Llanrwst box visits. BLS members only,
limited numbers; an on the day cash charity donation applies (NB this will be payable by anyone who
books and cancels with less than 7 days notice or fails to attend). Hi-Viz orange jacket required.
Bookings and queries to Barnaby Clark at: barnaby [email protected] (The email address gap only is
underscored which is not the same as underlining - the underscore is actually beneath the underline.
It is usually the 'capital' keyboard option of the key to the right of the 'zero'. It is not possible to have a
gap in an email address without an underscore or to underscore a character but it is possible to
underline and underscore a gap) or write to: 1 Onslow Rd, Richmond, TW10 6QH (with an SAE). Please
advise if you are coming by car (and how many lifts you can give) or train. We reserve the right to
reduce the number of cars depending on circumstances on the day.

1009] .Ketton Cement Works. Sun 1 Jul: Ketton Works, Ketco Ave, Stamford, PE9 3SX. (SK 9849 0539)
Thanks to the Ketton team and Kev Adlam, additional places are available with an extra 15.30 trip (check
other times for availability). They cover the whole railway system, exchange sidings to NR boundary close
to the Oakham to Stamford line and track not covered on our June 2015 tours: Exchange Sidings 1 & 4, the
left loop north of the silo, and the sought after Axiom Rail (now DB Cargo) stub. Operated by volunteers
from Hanson staff, 'Rocks by Rail' and the Chasewater Railway, the onsite locos (currently 08870 & 08375)
will 'top & tail'. A mobile vehicle will sell light refreshments, hot snacks and drinks. £45 per person
(no junior discount) includes souvenir ticket and map. All profits will be shared equally among Hanson's
nominated charities. Unusually, a peripatetic steam miniature railway will transport participants to the
specially built standard gauge platform. Book on line please if possible (or ask someone to do this for you)
as this greatly reduces your volunteer teams' workload or by post with email/SAEs to Jill Everitt.

1010] .Wester Pickston Winkle Picker. Sat 4 Aug 14.00-16.00: (MR p28) Glenalmond, Methven, Perth,
PH1 3RX, (NN 9842 280). Thanks to the Scottish Model Engineering Trust (Perth Model Engineers)
Wester Pickston Railway and our member Simon Mortimer. An all (practicable) line visit with at least two
locos; there are only 4 public open days per year. It concentrates on parts of the extensive intricate layout
opened since our Jun 2016 visit; some only in Apr 2018! Includes the new full outer loop from Pickston to
Ducks End and triangle there (one side not part of the public ride), Ducks End station new through lines
and new double track sections. The track plan is thanks to the Railway. The main route is now over a mile
plus permutations of branches and spurs. This 5"/7¼" railway with extensive earthworks, tunnels and
bridges is in a remote deeply rural forested setting; ideal to stop off for those going to the Invergarry &
Fort Augustus Railway next day. £10 Members, £15 Non-members, with light refreshments, track plan and
a souvenir ticket. Online booking is much preferred please and is far less work. Only if unavoidable, by post
to Jill Everitt (back page) with BLS membership number, email address/SAE (2 for acknowledgement).
PLEASE advise if you can give (also number), or would like, lifts from/to Perth or after to Fort William.

1011] .Scunthorpe Steeler No16. Sat 18 Aug 09.30-18.30: (report/pictures BLN 1297.197) With over 100
miles of standard gauge track; this is a great way to see an operating integrated steel works and 24-hour
industrial railway at close quarters set in 200 acres (totally unspoilt by tourism). Connects with the 09.06
TPE arrival from Manchester and 19.08 return at Scunthorpe, (connections from/back to Birmingham,
London, etc.) Meet 09.30 prompt at the AFRPS platform; it is due to finish about 18.30. An extensive full
day summer railtour with a break at the AFRPS shed (view and photo the locos). Max 60, first come first
served. MEMBERS ONLY £45 (only £5 an hour!) Under 18s £22.50 but must be accompanied by an adult.
Includes food and drink in the break, a detailed track map, stock list and souvenir ticket. Our tour
supports the good work of the AFRPS volunteers. It would save a lot of work if you could book online
please (or ask someone to do this for you, they need your full name and membership number.) Or by
post advising membership number please with an SAE (2 for acknowledgement) to Jill Everitt (per back
page). Any queries and specific line requests in advance only please as soon as possible to Paul Stewart.

X.66] . Llanelli & Mynydd Mawr Railway. (L&MMR) Bank Hol Mon 27 Aug: (BLN 1289.MR184 & 185) (MR
p9) 'More and Mawr' the former Cynheidre Colliery site , SA15 5YF. Private
riding visit (max 200 participants) for those on the main tour (next item), with Swansea Bus Museum
Vintage transport from Llanelli station and return included. During about an hour on site, which only
opened to the public in Sep 2017, there will be short trips in a Mk 2 RFO hauled by ex-Dutch Railways
English Electric 0-6-0DE NS625 and Rolls Royce 'Sentinel' 10222 over the normal run and south of the
platform to the main shed point - the first passenger train on this section in preservation and quite
possibly the only occasion it will be used! A cab ride on one of these trips will be one of the prizes in
the main tour raffle. A L&MMR volunteer is joining our tour at Cardiff Central to answer questions. £15
(for anyone on the main railtour) includes vintage bus transfers, a track plan, souvenir ticket and
stocklist. Note: a ride sequence number will be allocated in booking order. Please book online if you
can or by post to Jill Everitt (with BLS membership number if applicable, an email address or SAE).

[BLN 1305]

X.67] .The Marching Crompton. Bank Hol Mon 27 Aug: An easy day out 'Track & Traction' loco-
hauled railtour with West Coast Railway Company (WCR) and '84G Railtours' featuring two Class 33
locos on The Marches. In the break there is an option of visiting the heritage Llanelli & Mynydd
Mawr Railway by Vintage bus or enjoy leisure time in Cardiff or Llanelli. Highlights include Leckwith
Loop, Briton Ferry Sidings, Swansea Avoiding line, through lines at Hereford, Newport and
Shrewsbury plus many Loops and connections. Timings and routing are provisional but validated by
WCR and bid to NR as follows:

Crewe P12 (PU 06.30) - Shrewsbury P4 (PU 07.30) - Church Stretton (PU 07.45) - Craven Arms DGL -
Craven Arms (PU 08.12) - Leominster (PU 08.27) - Hereford Platform Loop P1 (rare southern exit) -
Panteg DGL - Newport Dn Relief - Gaer Jn XO to Dn Main - Ebbw Jn XO to Dn Relief - Dn Relief -
Cardiff P3 (PU/SD 09.45) - Leckwith Loop Jn South - Leckwith Loop Jn North - Dn Miskin Loop -
Tremains DPL - Stormy DPL - Port Talbot Dn Relief - Briton Ferry - Morlais Jn - Llandeilo Jn DGL -
Llanelli (11.30 - 14.30 break) - Llandeilo Jn UGL to Up Main - Swansea Avoiding Line - Briton Ferry
Up Through Siding - Port Talbot Up Relief - Up Ogmore Vale Extension - Stormy UPL - Pencoed UPL -
Up Miskin Loop - Line 'A' (was No2 Up Relief) - Cardiff P0 (SD/PU 16.25) - Line 'B' - Long Dyke Jn XOs
to Up Relief - Rumney River Bridge Jn XOs to Up Main - Ebbw Jn West XO to Up Relief - Newport Up
Relief (middle line) - Panteg UGL - Abergavenny UGL - Pontrilas UGL - Hereford Up Relief -
Leominster (SD 17.45) - Woofferton UGL - Craven Arms (SD 18.00) - Church Stretton (SD 18.10) -
Sutton Bridge UGL - Shrewsbury Down Main (centre line) - Gresty Bridge Downn Sidings Arrival (was
Down Reception) - Crewe P12 (SD 19.30).

FARES: (Not including Llanelli & Mynydd Mawr Railway - please book separately - see next item):
Standard Class: £84.00.
First Class Plus with refreshments: £139.00.
First Class Plus guaranteed table for two with refreshments: £149.00.
Under 18s, who must be accompanied by an adult: £42.00 reduction all fares.
Non-BLS members (all ages): £12.00 surcharge.

coach stewarding purposes and can be changed subsequently by notification). Please book on our
website, or ask someone to do this for you (they need your full name and membership number if
applicable) to save your volunteer team a great deal of work. All queries to the Bookings Officer per
back page by email or post with an SAE. For postal bookings, please quote membership number.

1305 HEAD LINES (Paul Stewart) [email protected]

1012] Keeping Track, (extra to Head Lines) significant passenger service suspensions: *= New/altered
BLN Start (incl) Reopens† Location (exclusive where bracketed) [bold = closed now]

1302.691 18 Sep 17 Unknown Seaton Tramway, (Riverside Loop) south end - Seaton
1302.699 02 Jun 18 30 Jul 18 *Liverpool Lime Street (total & partial closures) details below
1300.441 0 4 Jun 18 0 8 Jun 18 (Theale)-Westbury North Jn/Fairwood Jn (and five later periods)
1302.700 12 Jun 18 15 Jun 18 (Exeter St Davids) - Barnstaple/(Tiverton Parkway)
1298.214 12 May 18 20 Aug 18 (Aberdeen) - (Dyce)
1286.1612 22 Jul 18 0 8 Oct 18 (Derby) station/associated lines - a series of partial closures
1297.123 20 Oct 18 29 Oct 18 (Three Bridges) - (Brighton)/(Lewes) (also 16 to 24 Feb 2019)
1302.702 27 Oct 18 19 Nov 18 Bristol East Jn - Stoke Gifford No1 Jn; Filton Jn - Patchway Jn;

Feeder Bridge Jn - Dr Day's Jn & Narroways Hill Jn - (Clifton Down)
1299.377 10 Dec 18 Greenford West Jn - Greenford East Jn - Park Royal - Old Oak Common West

[BLN 1305]
1013] Alford Valley Railway, Alford - Haughton Park: (MR p28) (BLN 1290.MR192) TCP Sun 1 Apr 2018
(when due to open for the season), until further notice. The 1,500yd 2ft gauge railway which last ran
Sat 30 Sep 2017 has closed due to the state of the track and repeated vandalism at Haughton Park.
A detailed inspection is being made but repairs are expected to cost tens of thousands of pounds.

1014] Lynton - Lynmouth Cliff Railway: (MR P34)
TCP 2 to 15 Apr 2018 due to a landslip following
adverse weather. A rail replacement bus was
provided and the two cars were converted to 'flat
beds' to remove 30 tonnes of material. The line
has very rarely closed. After the devastating 1952
floods it was initially the only access to Lynmouth
and transported some of the workers and
materials for the rebuilding. LEFT: (Press Release)

1015] Ebbw Jn - Ebbw Vale Town: (BLN 1304.990)
TCP Sat 5 to Fri 11 and Mon 14 to Fri 18 May 2018
for electrification work at Ebbw Jn. Gaer Jn - Park
Jn - Machen Quarry was TCG (same dates).

1016] Frodsham Jn - Halton Jn: ROA Wed 9 May (TCA 10 Feb 2018), the 1m 53ch 'Frodsham Single'
(the new name for 'Down Chester/Liverpool' from 19 Feb 2018), previously unidirectional towards
Liverpool, is now bidirectional with control transferred from Halton Junction Signal Box to Manchester
Rail Operating Centre, Wavertree Work Station. Halton Jn facing crossover (179m 31ch - 179m 24ch)
was commissioned. Up trains to Chester run on the Down Main from Frodsham Jn (11m 04ch) to a
new trailing crossover (10m 77ch - 10m 72ch) to join the Up Main. The only service at present, the SO
summer weekly 07.53 Chester to Runcorn (ECS to Lime Street) PSUL, runs 26 May to 9 Sep but was
cancelled on Sat 26 May due to the Northern strike. It is not clear where the rolling stock comes from.

This reopening was linked to resignalling of Weaver Jn to Ditton East Jn from Wed 9 may with control
transferred from Halton Junction and Runcorn boxes to Wavertree Workstation in Manchester ROC.
Of note, a new train timing point is 'Former Edge Hill SB' but the box is alive and well (BLN 1300.472).

BOTTOM LEFT: Halton Junction Signal Box. BOTTOM RIGHT: Runcorn. (Angus McDougall 7 Jul 1991)

1017] Mid Norfolk Railway, Hoe, Hall Rd Crossing (13m 61ch*) (TF 9910 1678) - (15m 16ch) Worthing
(Hoe Rd) Crossing (TF 9911 1909*): ROP Sat 19 May 2018 (CP 5 Oct 1964; CA 23 Jan 1989) a 1¼ mile
extension. First train ex-Dereham 11.00 with Class 04 D2334 and Pannier tank 9466 hauling on return.
The 3m 64ch took 20 minutes. Limited public service special events, also 20 May. A private special for
donors, volunteers and invited guests ran Fri 19 May. [*Miles from Wymondham main line station]

1018] Acton Dive-Under (5m 20ch - 4m 40ch): (BLN 1304.929) ROP/A Sun 20 May after TCA 24 Apr
2018 also for use by electric trains for the first time since 24 Jan 2018. Reminder: Used as needed, no
'booked' use, wait on the London end of Ealing Broadway P4. The signal after the station has feathers
lit in the No2 position (right angle left/9 O'clock) if the next train from P4 is routed via the Dive-Under.
Since reopening many passenger trains have been reported using it (possibly driver route refreshing?)

1019] Worcester Shrub Hill (excl) - Evesham (excl) & Pershore plus Norton Jn - Abbotswood Jn: TCA
Sat 26 until Wed 30 May (incl) a five day line closure for installation of a new 1,500 tonne underbridge
for dualling of the A4440 Worcester Southern Link Road bypass at (118m 52ch) (SO 868 524). The old
bridge was replicated on site and slid in to place. shows why it took 5 days.
Freight to/from Round Oak ran Galton Jn - Smethwick Jn running round in Worcester Shrub Hill Yard.

1020] Galton Jn - Smethwick Jn: TCP 26-30 May (CrossCountry PSUL services) per previous entry.

1021] Sheffield Supertram, Hillsborough (excl) - Middlewood (incl) and Hillsborough Park & Leppings
Lane stops: TCP Sat 26 May expected to Fri 15 Jun 2018 (incl) for replacement of rails at Middlewood
stop and on Middlewood Road. Yellow Route trams run to Malin Bridge instead of Middlewood.

1022] Sheffield Supertram, subsequent closures: To replace 20+ year old rail. ꚚBirley Lane - Halfway
23 Jun to 8 Aug. ꚚGleadless Townend - Herdings Park 10 to 19 Aug. ꚚGleadless Townend - Halfway
and Gleadless - Herdings Park 25 Aug to 2 Sep & 8-9 Sep. ꚚDonetsk Way - Halfway 10 Sep to 14 Sep.

1023] London Underground, Northern Line, Kennington: (BLN 1300.462) The Bank branch platforms
(centre two) TCP 26 May with trains running through non-stop until mid-Sep for construction of four
new passages to improve access between platforms. The Victoria line is expected to be much busier.

1024] South Tynedale Railway, Lintley Halt (excl) - Slaggyford station (incl): (MR p14) (BLNs 1302.692
& 1304 MR82) The extension did not open 26 May, again attributed to previous severe local weather.
E-BLN UPDATE: The railway advises that the extension will open to the public on Sat 9 Jun, for the first
week of operation tickets must be bought in advance on the website (available to buy from 30 May).

1025] Liverpool Lime Street (incl) - Huyton (excl) and four intermediate stations: TCP Sat 2 to Sun10
Jun and Sat 14 to Sun 29 Jul 2018 for Phase 2 of Liverpool Lime Street remodelling and resignalling.
The arrangements are the same as in 2017 (deemed successful), with various crossovers on offer again
at Lime Street, Edge Hill, Huyton and Liverpool South Parkway (including the third rail crossover there).
Remember that on line planners/National Rail may be updated late (while aiming for six weeks ahead).

1026] Liverpool South Parkway (excl) - Edge Hill East Jn and West Allerton & Mossley Hill stations:
also Hunts Cross West Jn - Liverpool South Parkway: TCP Sat 2 Jun to Sun 29 Jul 2018. There are no
trains between Liverpool South Parkway and Lime Street or Merseyrail EMUs between Liverpool
South Parkway and Hunts Cross for the whole 58 day 'blockade'. The latter is to avoid overcrowding at
Parkway on Merseyrail and allow all their trains at that station to be 6-cars. Northern DMUs run
between Hunts Cross and Liverpool South Parkway throughout via the Hunts Cross Chord, as usual.

1027] Lime Street - Huyton: TROP 11 Jun - 29 Jul from 06.00 to 20.00 with a limited service, but unlike
last time including weekends. Presumably this is single line bidirectional working on the Up Slow from
Edge Hill West Jn (facing crossover at 1m 09ch in the Down direction) to Lime Street P1 & 2 again.
The OOU temporary crossover between the Up Slow to access/leave P2 will be in use again for the
final time. Two trains an hour are booked from/to Manchester Victoria via Huyton and another two to
Wigan NW, one serving Blackpool North. When Lime Street is closed they turnback in Huyton P2.

1305 BLN GENERAL (Paul Stewart) [email protected]

1028] Have We Got More BRANCH LINE NEWS For You? (BLN 1304.932) The 'fill in the blanks'

answers were NOT: 1): When a driver had to free wheel his train for 16 miles after Bushey station
astonishingly he tried asking passengers for a shilling for the meter! 2): If anything happens that is not
supposed to happen or vice versa the branch line News Team is not guilty. The correct answers:

1): When a driver had to free wheel his train for 16 miles after Bushey station astonishingly it arrived
at Euston one minute early! 2): If your e-BLN email is delayed the branch line News Team is not guilty.

1029] Train Fares Review: Starting now the rail industry is consulting on a full review of the present
byzantine, largely historic and unfathomable system of rail fares. At you can
sign up to regular updates and take part in the process if you wish. We are, of course, a nation of
people who all know how the railways should be run - now is your chance! As an aside the rail industry
is estimated to be losing £200M per year through fraudulent travel of different types.

1030] Points & Slips: ●BLN 1304.936] Regarding standard gauge unfenced Minor Railways, a member
reports that last time he did the Middleton Railway, most of the line outside the station area was
unfenced, but he thinks that was mainly due to vandalism rather than intended. Many years ago he
noted the northern section of the Tanfield Railway from Marley Hill to Sunniside was then unfenced.
●975] The new Kenilworth station café and ticket sales is run by the same people as at Ludlow station.

1305 EAST MIDLANDS (John Cameron) [email protected]

1031] Grimsby Pier & Docks: (BLN 1223.1925) The 1863 plan in George Dow's Great Central Vol I
p174 and the earliest OS map available online (1887) give no indication of
an 'originally triangular junction' at Grimsby Docks station (although one had appeared within the
Royal Dock area by the 1930s). Please can the original BLN contributor come forward and be more
specific as to location, date(s) and provenance of the reported early triangular junction?

1032] Barton-on-Humber: Services are provided by Northern but are normally unaffected by their
strikes because the trains are TPE staffed. However, there are significant cancellations for other
reasons. An unbranded green liveried Class 153 (ex-GWR) worked the branch recently. With the new
timetable it is reported that, due to the branch unit being refuelled, the first and last Barton services
are again worked by one of the TPE Class 185s stabled at Cleethorpes. This happened until a few years
ago. Can anyone explain where/how often the Class 153 is refuelled as no paths are evident?

1033] Scunthorpe: Our local (well, Hull) steelworks expert here advises that the crossover pictured in
e-BLN 1304.944 near Bridge 44 is new rather than replaced (hopefully it will be in our 18 Aug railtour
there). By 28 Apr the Dawes Lane Coke Ovens (closed 8 Mar 2016 and now being demolished) branch
had been disconnected and the junction plain lined. The last train on it was our tour of 28 Mar 2016.

1034] Sharnbrook Jn - Wellingborough North Jn: (BLN 1304.937) When the PSUL Sharnbrook Tunnel
Goods Line or Wymington Deviation route reopens (due 06.00 Mon 18 June), there is just one booked
passenger train a week in the new timetable, 22.30 (SuO) St Pancras to Nottingham. Presumably this
is to maintain driver route knowledge. Note that it is diverted via the Down Fast on 1 & 8 July at least.

1035] Whitwell: (BLN 1209.819) At last the Nottingham to Worksop 'Robin Hood' line is to be diverted
around the 544yd Whitwell Tunnel (150m 03ch) to (150m 28ch) so that the surrounding area can be

quarried. The plan for a ¾ mile deviation roughly parallel to, and
south of, the tunnel was first advertised in 'The Times' of 15 Oct
2010. Tarmac has been given planning permission by Derbyshire
County Council to expand their Whitwell Quarry site in four
areas. One of these is the rail tunnel site, where 6.8M tonnes (the
main reserves) of high quality Dolomite will be extracted. NR will
then no longer need to maintain the tunnel. It is anticipated that
extraction will continue until 2033 for kiln feed stone and 2040
for 'civils' stone. Final restoration of the site will take a further
three years. The long disused rail connection to the quarry will
not be compromised in case it is ever needed again. LEFT: The
present tunnel route with Whitwell and Cresswell stations.

ABOVE: The railway at the quarry. Creswell station is off bottom left and Whitwell top right.
The existing railway is shown in pink; the deviation is within the blue boundaries. (Public Planning
Document) The deviation is also shown on SK Baker's Atlas, 14th Edition (June 2015) page 28 (37 A2).

The now 472-acre Whitwell Quarry has been active since 1968 and is one of just two sites in the UK
which extracts Dolomite. (The other is Thrislington Quarry, Ferryhill south of Durham.) Roughly 1.1M
tonnes are quarried each year at Whitwell. The primary stages of diverting the railway here are:

(1): Prepare surface of the native rock trackbed platform. (2): Build bridge over the quarry underpass.
(3): Ballast most of new line except for the extremities. (4): Lay rail tracks together with signalling over
the central section of the diversion. (5): Ballast top up between the slopes/tamping. (6): Short line
possessions typically less than 24 hours to connect each end to the existing route. (7): Rail traffic can
operate immediately. (8): Seal tunnel to prevent trespass and colonisation by bats and other protected
species. (9): Demolish tunnel lining and remove old rails. (10): Work remaining rock until the faces are
in the final positions. (11): A water drainage network for the diverted line linked to track bed drainage.

1036] Nottingham: In the new timetable (SSuX) the 16.44 to Derby is booked from P4 on Line 'B', then
the bidirectional Down Nottingham Slow in the rare Up direction and takes Beeston South Jn trailing
crossover to call at Beeston station at 16.54. This is because the 16.45 Nottingham to St Pancras from
P7 is booked to overtake it on Line 'D' and the Up Nottingham Fast passing Beeston station at 16.50.

1037] Derby: (BLN 1304.942) Remodelling/resignalling is resulting in track losses. At L&NWR Jn from
4 June, St Andrews Siding ('THRO' SDG' on TRACKmaps Aug 2013) (0m 75ch) accessing Ramsline Halt,
is to be severed and the point secured OOU. It will be cut to a 55yd headshunt with sleepers across,
accessed from the north only at 0m 15ch (by East Midlands Control Centre) via St Andrews No 1 Siding.
1038] Spondon: On the Down side the former Courtaulds connection had gone by 9 May, although the
former 'through siding' (126m 00ch) had wagons stabled in it. However it is no longer 'through', having
lost its Derby end connection. The former Central Electricity Generating Board 30MW Spondon 'H' coal
fired Power Station was unique in having a thermal efficiency of greater than 100%! It defied the laws
of physics by supplying (selling) steam to the adjacent British Celanese plant (later Courtaulds) as well
as generating electricity. This is the origin of the 'Derwent Cogeneration Sidings' name (TRACKmaps)
for the exchange sidings. The power station branch, worked by CEGB electric locos with trolley wire to
recharge their batteries, was traversed by members on the locos during Society visits in the 1980s.

1039] Cleethorpes: North Lincolnshire Council is supporting Grand Central's open-access proposal for
a direct Cleethorpes - King's Cross service via Scunthorpe. TPE is installing new information screens at
Grimsby Town and Cleethorpes and at the latter 10 more parking spaces plus a shelter on P2 & 3.

1305 GREATER LONDON (Geoff Brockett) [email protected]

1040] Marylebone Closed! On Sun 10 Jun due to engineering work there is a relatively rare all day
closure of the station. Possibly for the last time there is a half-hourly Chiltern passenger service in
both directions through Park Royal (closing as a through line in December) to/from Paddington P14.
This might be of particular interest to those on our Sopwith Camel railtour (eg: Aylesbury 18.40,
Princes Risborough 18.56/19.15 Paddington 20.22). West Ruislip to/from Paddington is available
twice an hour in both directions all day within Travelcard, Oyster and Contactless Payment Zone 6.

1041] Barking - Gospel Oak: (BLN 1303.833) The new timetable is largely unchanged but the morning
'PSUL' service now from Barking (previously Woodgrange Park) to Willesden Junction runs 15 minutes
later. However neither this nor the evening peak extras appear in the timetable on the TfL website
(paper timetables are no longer issued) and they ran under STP (Short Term Planning) schedules for
the first week. The line's user group reports that the ORR requires NR to carry out more work before it
will approve the OHLE on the line and it is hoped that electric train operation will be allowed in Aug.

The 05.30 (SO) Liverpool Street to Enfield Town EMU ran via Stoke Newington on Sat 26 May rather
than resuming the PSUL route though South Tottenham and Seven Sisters as it was originally shown
to use (and throughout the current timetable). This seems likely to be related to the delay in approval.

However none of the new Class 710 EMUs have been delivered yet for the Barking to Gospel Oak line
as testing has been delayed at Old Dalby. This is due to priority being given to the Crossrail Class 345s
which, as a new train type required to run under three different signalling systems, need much more
complex testing. The user group hopes that the units will be able to enter service in Sep. The Class 172
DMUs currently used on the Barking to Gospel Oak line will move to the West Midlands in Dec.

1042] Cricklewood: (BLN 1302.721) A Compulsory Purchase Order has been approved to enable the
procurement of land that will be used to construct the new Brent Cross station, expected to open in
2022. As previously reported this will require removal of the north stabling sidings, although the
replacement for these is now expected to displace the recently reactivated south freight terminal
rather than the waste transfer terminal. Waste from the latter continues to be sent to Calvert, but the
GBRf crews have been route learning to Barrington where it will go in the future. The new DBC Down
side aggregate terminal is complete but has not yet been used because of planning permission issues.

1043] District Line Microgricing: (BLN 1283.1264) A new WTT No150 was introduced on 20 May, but it
was only for changes to the LO Richmond service so there is no change to the microgricing elements.
However in ascertaining this our compiler discovered some minor errors in the original analysis:

East Ham crossover was omitted. This is ECS only but has seen some use during planned works.
●Plaistow bay is P3, not P1 as is incorrectly shown on 'TRACKmaps' Vol 5 p45A (Nov 2008).
●High Street Kensington P3, Sunday morning: the 06.58 arr is [001] not [036] and the 07.13½ is [047]
…not [001]. P4, Saturday morning turnrounds: add [041] after [040].
●Earl's Court P4 arrivals from Gloucester Road direction, add: SuO 00.23½ [115]. (Thanks to Bill Lynch)
1044] LUL Microgricing (Non) Opportunities: (BLN 1302.726) Proving the point that plans can change;
by the 21 May edition of the six-month look-ahead, all mention of Hyde Park Corner was 'hidden', so
you don't need to come to London specially on 16 & 17 Jun after all. Equally tantalisingly, Mornington
Crescent has suffered the same treatment at least twice but Bethnal Green is still on for 8 & 9 Sep.

1045] Crossrail: (BLN 1304.948) The 'Sunday Times' reported on 13 May that costs are running over
budget and a bailout of about £500M from the Government is expected to be needed. The old stairs at
Ealing Broadway were not demolished as intended over the May Day holiday weekend. From 4 Jun the
OHLE from Old Oak Common Crossrail Depot Line 2 (3m 1ch) to the termination of wires at the buffer
stops of Old Oak Common (Crossrail) depot sidings roads S28 to S43 (3m 27ch) is due to be energised.

At West Drayton the new crossover is a trailing one to the west of the existing crossover between the
Up Relief and Up Loop. This was due to be commissioned from 28 May allowing movements between
the Up Relief or Up Loop and the Down Relief in both directions. The new depot at Old Oak Common
will house and maintain up to 42 of the line's 70 trains each night. It has 33 stabling roads and nine
maintenance roads. Bombardier's latest automatic vehicle inspection system will increase reliability by
scanning and analysing trains as they enter the depot, reducing the overall maintenance time required.
Bombardier currently employs 80 staff at the depot and this will increase to 110 by the summer.
A renewable energy system will provide over 30% of the depot's power.

1046] Thameslink: (BLN 1304.951) Unsurprisingly no trains between Charing Cross and the Deptford
line used P3 at London Bridge on 7 May, with Down trains using P4 and Up trains P5 on all three days
of the holiday weekend. However this did give the chance to do the short link between Ewer Street Jn
and Metropolitan Jn on the Charing Cross Slow Lines which normally has no booked service.

1047] Acton: On 12 May the UKRT 'Worcester Sorcerer' railtour returning from Worcester Shrub Hill
to Letchworth Garden City ran via the Up Poplar (formerly the Up goods) to Acton Wells Jn, enabling
at least one member to do the realignment from when the area was remodelled for Acton Dive-Under.

1048] GWML: On Sun 13 May a New Track Construction train (NTC) made
slow progress unloading base stone during plain line track renewals at Acton. By 00.01 on Mon 14th
the work was six hours behind schedule. The NTC site had been booked to be completed at 17.00, but
work was not completed until 23.30. It was found that the rail installed by the NTC was both vertically
and horizontally misaligned and required significant realignment before ballast unloading and tamping
could commence. The Up Main was reopened from 07.00 until 10.44, after which both Main Lines
were blocked to allow further work to be undertaken on the Down Main. As a result Heathrow
Connect services were suspended, Heathrow Express was reduced to a 30min frequency and there
were cancellations on GWR. Up fast trains crossed over at Southall and Down ones at Acton West.

By 13.45 the site was ready for the ballast to be unloaded, but no driver was available until 15.30.
The ballast drop commenced at 15.40 and the possession of the Up Main was given up from 17.53 to
20.00. Work continued through the night, with the first pass of the tamper completed by 00.20 and
the possession handed back at 05.26, with a 60mph Emergency Speed Restriction (ESR) on the Down
Main. However at 08.50 on 15th the driver of the 08.40 Paddington to Heathrow T5 reported a rough
ride between 4m 7ch and 4m 30ch on the Down Main at Acton Main Line within the ESR. Following
trains were cautioned at 20mph. PW staff reported at 09.40 that trains should continue to be
cautioned at 20mph due to the track being misaligned at 4m 20ch and lateral movement of passing
trains. At 09.57 a track buckle was confirmed and the line was blocked. At 11.05 it was reported that
lifting and packing would be required to reopen the line with a 20mph ESR in place.

A line blockage of the Down and Up Main Lines was taken at 12.00 for remedial repairs but a further
buckle was identified at 4m 8ch which required the blockage to be extended. The Up Main was
reopened at 18.50 with the Down closed pending further work overnight. Following failure of the
tamper overnight, which had been losing track alignment, a replacement tamper was sourced and
both Main Lines were blocked until 08.00 on 16th when normal working finally resumed 53 hours late!

1049] HS2: (BLN 1304.947) On 23 Mar HS2 took possession from NR of the first part of the GWR depot
at Old Oak Common (OOC). Spoil from construction of the OOC site and from the new tunnels will be
moved by conveyor belt to Willesden Euro Terminal for disposal by rail. That terminal will also be used
for deliveries of cement and aggregates. HS2's contractors have taken over the underused terminal
and are clearing the site ready to hand over to the main works contractor in 2019. This is why DCR-
operated spoil trains to Barrington now load in Willesden 'F' Sidings (BLN 1302.683). [The pile of spoil
reported here on 17 Mar cannot be moved as it is contaminated with Japanese Knotweed.] Not used
for many years they are on TRACKmaps Vol 4 p8A off the Down Willesden Relief at Brent New Jn.
From 20 May Euston 'Back Road' and 'Backing Out Road 2' south end connection were taken OOU.

1050] London Overground: (BLN 1302.728) Several timetable changes were introduced from 20 May.
SuX the East London Line service pattern was recast, with most trains at West Croydon now reversing
in bay P1 instead of shunting via the turnback siding. On the West London Line, the 2tph daily off-peak
that previously ran only between Clapham Junction and Willesden Junction are extended to Stratford.
This increases the service between Willesden Junction and Stratford from 6tph to 8tph, but they are
not evenly spaced. Eventual delivery of the new Class 710 EMUs will allow the peak service between
these points to increase from 8tph to 10tph. Meantime the new peak timetable is based on this
pattern but with 2tph removed, thus creating gaps in the service. To enhance peak services between
Clapham Junction and Willesden Junction, 'Q' paths exists for a shuttle between them subject to the
availability of a spare driver and train. The interim arrangements temporarily require three trains to
reverse at South Acton and depart north over the crossover in service SSuX at 14.14, 14.42 & 15.42.

1051] Heathrow Airport: (BLN 1303.829) From 20 May ticket gates were introduced at the three
Heathrow Airport National Rail stations. Previously unbarriered, passengers wishing to use the free
transfer option between Airport stations must now (but still without charge) use Oyster, Contactless
payment cards or free terminal transfer tickets available from a dedicated machine in each Heathrow
station. From 2 May ticketing conditions on Heathrow Express were brought into line with the rest of
the national network. Heathrow Express will accept Contactless and Oyster cards for travel from Sep.

1305 NORTH EAST (Geoff Blyth) [email protected]
1052] T&W Metro: A lucky member won a visit for two to the Metro Control Centre on our Metro
Meanderer 15 Feb charity tour raffle; they visited on 9 April. The control room, on the first floor of the
large building next to South Gosforth P2, is staffed continuously, even on Christmas Day. There are
five control desks in a circular pattern. The first are for two controllers, who are responsible for all
external contacts: help points, police and CCTV. There are 650 cameras, some fixed and some that can
be panned and zoomed.

PEVIOUS PAGE BOTH: South Gosforth T&W Metro Control Room. (Angus McDougall 17 Apr 2013)

The cameras cover all platforms, building interiors and the areas around the stops, such as car parks.
Help point use is treated as an emergency as the staff do not know the situation. A camera is always
trained on the help points to assist the controller in identifying issues and to record misuse. Saturday
night inevitably has the most misuse, with people somewhat the worse for wear!

The third desk is for the signal controller, who controls the running of all trains and can intervene at
any time. Drivers enter their driver number and the train reporting number in their cabs. This sets up
the route automatically, including changing the points where necessary as the train progresses.

The controller's desk display shows the whole network, with the train reporting numbers lit up in the
signal sections and moving along the display as the trains move. In front of the display is a desk, split
into sections, with each section controlling about 12 signal/point switches. There are also local control
cabins on the network for each of these areas, which they replicate. These are staffed by the signal
controllers every couple of mouths for training so that they can control the trains locally if necessary.

South Gosforth Depot has an area control panel and liaises with the Control Centre as needed.
The depot avoiding line (Gosforth East Jn - Gosforth West Jn) (BLN 1300.438) is worked by the Control
Centre. Since our tour it is back in use again [hint]; in the day for driver training and for engineering
trains at night. However, it has an open level crossing so depot staff have to control vehicles over it.
Our members observed two incidents. The police requested a train be held at a stop for one minute
for them to apprehend a suspect. As they were already there this was immediately agreed.
These sort of requests can be refused if the police are nowhere near the station, to minimise delays.
There are six road level crossings on the system (all open), five on the airport line where the incident
occurred. Had the train initiated the automatic crossing sequence, the controller would request the
signal controller to put the signal back to red and cancel the sequence. Our members were able to
view, on the bank of eight large screens, the police going through first the rear cars and then the front
cars before arresting the suspect, who was then led off in handcuffs. The crossing sequence was then
activated and the signal cleared with only two minutes delay occurring due to the incident.

In the second incident there were train door problems requiring passengers to be detrained at
Walkergate and the door controls to be isolated. When such incidents occur the trains are not allowed
to run in service. This train ran ECS non-stop to St James P2, where the problem was rectified and the
next scheduled working resumed. Apparently doors are the main source of problems on the trains.

The fourth desk is the Nexus controller, responsible for all fixture and fittings - anything from a light
bulb to a viaduct! [How many men does it take to change a viaduct anyway?] They control teams,
which can be called out as required to fix breakdowns - the most common are the ticket machines.
All planned maintenance is also controlled from here. The fifth desk is for the electrical controller.
However, our members were not able to talk with this controller due to staff training. On the outer
circle of the room were desks for the Control Centre manager, the delay manager (who reports any
delays to services and the reasons why) and the media controller, who reports service issues via
Facebook or Twitter and also responds to queries from the public.

1053] Teesside Airport: (BLN 1295.2490) From Dec 2017 the weekly Down train was withdrawn due to
the perilous state of the footbridge which was to be removed. A member visiting on Sat 19 May
(not by rail of course!) was therefore surprised to find that there is nothing to stop passengers using it.
The only train of the week remains the 14.24 SuO Hartlepool to Darlington and there appears to be no
reason why Down trains can't call. The airport agreed to the service being reduced to nominally keep
the station 'open' with a view to rebuilding and resiting one day, but airport passenger numbers are
down 85% in 10 years. Housing and infrastructure development is now taking place very close to it

NEXT PAGE TOP: Teesside Airport looking east towards Eaglescliffe. (Rob Davidson 16 May 2018)

1305 NORTH WEST (Graeme Jolley) [email protected]
1054] Metrolink: On Sun 27 May some outbound Ashton trams turned back at Velopark due to a
police incident. This suggests the long crossover was in passenger use on return from Velopark. All day
Sat 2/Sun 3 Jun Ashton services will terminate at Piccadilly presumably via the facing crossover to
access the outbound platform on arrival. This is thought to be not to confuse joining passengers.

1055] Blackpool North: On Sun 20 May EMU 319424 became the first passenger carrying electric train
on the 08.43 service to Manchester Airport. The 10.42 return was also the first such train to arrive.

1056] Heysham: On Mon 30 May the 10.17 from Leeds and 13.17 return ran punctually. Beyond
Morecambe your correspondent was one of two passengers. The other was an elderly gentleman with
heavy luggage who had been assured his Hotel was a short walk from the station only to find himself
between a lorry park, Port and Power station! None of the three Train staff knew of such a Hotel and
he was about to return to Morecambe when someone from the Port offered to phone a taxi.

1057] Lime Street: NR revealed a secret piece of railway history recently. There is a miniature building,
deep in the tunnels of the station, only accessible when trains are not running (NEXT PAGE: NR). The
historic hut was built over 100 years ago by track workers to take their tea breaks. There is a fireplace,
an old kettle, cup and tongs (coal not sugar) still in place, preserved in time. Graeme Whitehead, NR
project manager, said: In years gone by track maintenance gangs would have come here, they'd have
had their lunch, a cup of tea, lit the fire, and waited between trains. We have no plans to do anything
with it, it will stay, it's protected beneath the tunnels and will remain locked in history forever more.

1058] Blackburn: In the May timetable no trains terminate at Manchester now and the departure
screens show trains to Southport and Rochdale, all of which go via Manchester but leave Blackburn in
opposite directions! Southport is, of course, west of Blackburn but the train sets off to the east;
Rochdale is south-east and trains depart westwards. For Southport the Rochdale train should be taken
to Salford Crescent (or Bolton and Wigan). For Rochdale it is, of course, the Southport train via
Burnley and Todmorden. Confused? Well probably not but many punters out there will be!

1305 SOUTH EAST - NORTH & EAST ANGLIA (Julian James) [email protected]
1059] Ely: At a 'summit' in Cambridge, politicians and business leaders heard that the Ely North Jn
reupgrade could be included in the government's 2019-24 spending round. It was hosted by South
West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss and heard that studies looking at how the work might be carried out
were now under way. Meliha Duymaz, NR route managing director for Anglia, said the improvements
were originally due to be carried out from 2009-14. The delay gave NR the chance to review if it was
the best way to improve the network for passengers and freight. Ely North improvements enabling
more frequent services to run on the King's Lynn to London and Norwich to Cambridge lines could
boost the region's economy by £1bn annually and allow a service to run to Wisbech (BLN 1301.600).

However, Bob Menzies, director of strategy and development at Cambridgeshire County Council, said
that the three level crossings along half a mile of road at Queen Adelaide would be shut for longer
periods of time. He said that 4,800 vehicles a day use the road through Queen Adelaide village,
expected to increase to 8,000 with 3,000 new houses due to be built around Ely. Mr Menzies said an
underpass or bridge would be needed as part of the junction scheme and what we need to do now is
progress road and rail schemes in tandem so we can have a workable scheme by next year. We need to
do our job as professionals so you can do your job as politicians and get the thing funded. A business
case is being drawn up setting out the potential benefits for submission to government in April 2019.

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman said the work would unlock growth and clear the 'blocked artery'
preventing half-hourly trains between Cambridge/King's Lynn and also Norwich/Cambridge. James
Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said Cambridge's economy would begin falling
behind other world-leading cities without the investment. The meeting also heard design work to
extend platforms at Littleport and Waterbeach was under way. Additional trains were originally due to

[BLN 1305]
enter service this year. Ms Duymaz said the improvements would now be completed as early as
possible in 2019. North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham said: It's disappointing because the
promise was made and it's not been kept, adding that services between King's Lynn and London were
'almost Third World', with overcrowding and trains cancelled or running late. (Cambs Times 4 May)

Your Regional Editor notes that in the new timetable the twice hourly nonstop runs of the King's Lynn
trains between Cambridge and King's Cross, a good feature of the service, are preserved despite the
introduction of additional through Thameslink services from Cambridge via St Pancras (low level).
These nevertheless achieve good run times with only a few intermediate stops. Power restrictions of
the OHLE also prevent train lengths above four-car running between Ely and King's Lynn at present

1060] Reading West: The footbridge is evidently too low for the wiring to pass under for the Reading
to Newbury electrification scheduled for completion at the end of 2018. NR plans for a replacement
bridge were submitted to Reading Council but then withdrawn on 1 Jun 2015 before being formally
considered after complaints that the disabled access would be no better than before. Three years on,
large numbers of trees and shrubs have been felled or pruned, revealing the remains of an eastern
station entrance. The 2015 plans were for the footbridge to be demolished and replaced 'immediately'
with a similar but higher bridge to the south with no provision for lifts. NR's latest plans include
demolishing the old bridge and then reopening the eastern entrance with a footpath to the Down
platform connected to Oxford Road itself, allowing step free access as already exists from Tilehurst Rd
to the south. The Up platform has a footpath, also from Oxford Rd but with platform end steps.

BELOW: Reading West - the existing footbridge.

NEXT PAGE UPPER: The recently exposed former western entrance. (Both Mike Blakey May 2018)

1061] Heathrow Western Corridor: The consultation opens this month.

1062] Cambridge: No3 Reception Road was to be restored to use on 20 May, the east most track of the
three on the Up side of the station (non-electrified on TRACKmaps Oct 2016). It has been renewed and
slewed (55m 47ch - 55m 69ch) east by about 1.4m. This will accommodate a Controlled Emission Toilet
discharging apron that will be brought into use later. A close up view is available from P8!

1063] Reading - Didcot: At 10 May platform extensions had progressed to foundation level as follows:
♣Tilehurst: Up Relief country end ramp removed. London end of island - initial ground clearance only.
Nothing noticed on the Down Main. ♣Pangbourne: Down P1, extension at country end. Horizontal
supports for platform surface in situ. ♣Goring & Streatley: Island P2 and P3, extension at London end
with concrete supports for platform panels. Up Relief P4 is a hole with an earth floor. Work on P1
Down Main too. ♣Cholsey: Island P2 & P3, extension at country end. Actively staking out the area on
the Down Main P1 and the Up Main/Down Relief island, and some staking out similarly evident on Up
Relief platform. ♣Didcot: Down Main P1, London end complete. Island P2 & P3, London end extension.

1305 SOUTH EAST - SOUTH (Julian James) [email protected]
1064] Hastings: After the West Midland 'wireless' trams a 'trackless tram' is
proposed between Old Town and the pier encouraging tourists to explore areas beyond including
St Leonards and Grosvenor Gardens. It is also promoted as an all year practical transport option
running along the seafront. A light weight Severn Lamb electric vehicle is the best the promoters have
seen so far, running on tyred wheels and guided off road by transponders on the seafront. Two trams
could provide a half hourly service. After several years' delay, £133k EU DESTISMART funding has been
granted to research and develop a detailed business plan. Another EU grant (SUFUSE) has been applied
for capital funding and the promoters expect to hear the result in Nov. Prejudicing existing attractions
will be avoided, for example by integrating the new tram with the existing road train at the Old Town.

1065] Woking: SWR propose to take over exclusive use of four sidings on the Up side at the country
end of the station to stable Class 455 trains displaced by introduction of Class 707s. Three roads, 3-6,
in the centre of the Up side yard will be electrified and one, No4, removed for new drivers' walkways.
Staff welfare facilities will be in portable cabin type buildings. Site work is scheduled from August.

1305 SOUTH WEST (Darren Garnon) [email protected]

X.68] PREVIOUS PAGE ABOVE: Newton Abbot, at the entrance to an industrial estate is this signal
gantry made up of bits and pieces from the west end of the station before resignalling - now clearly in
need of some TLC. It was a feature marking the former premises of David & Charles, railway book
publishers. A railway overbridge can be seen lower left background. (Alan Sheppard 29 May 2018)

1066] Chipping Sodbury Sidings: These were taken out of use (OOU) from 8 May 2018 until 30 March
2019. They will be used to accommodate On Track Plant (on and off!) in use for flood resilience works.

1067] Portishead Sunk: (1294.2416) The £47M application for a government grant to fund the balance
of the cost of MetroWest Phase 1 has been refused. This already pruned £116M project led by the
West of England Combined Authority includes an hourly passenger service on the reopened branch to
Portishead and enhanced frequencies to Severn Beach and Keynsham. Instead the available £173M
DfT grant went to three road projects in North Devon, Leicestershire and Yorkshire. The search for
MetroWest funding will continue but construction work starting in 2020 looks increasingly unlikely.
Meanwhile housing plans provide a further 8,000 residents at Portishead in the next decade, based on
improved public transport promises. For now, they must join the lengthening road traffic queues to
join the A469/M5 Bristol commute twice a day (in the absence of extra employment in Portishead).

.PORTISHEAD PETITION. please consider signing, passing on and publicising
this online petition for reopening. Poor support may actually harm the case for passenger services.

Your correspondent has previously avoided reporting the Mayor of Bristol's 'Pie in the sky' plans for a
Bristol underground system, financed by Far East investors. However, with clear and growing demand
for rail transport at Portishead, there may be profits from incorporating the town into that plan,
maybe with 'Tram train' technology, such that investors will see scope for a bigger and faster return?

1068] Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways (FOSBR) This group representing 26 stations in the Bristol
travel to work area has published its 2018 rail plan. Core to its plan is the assertion that many stations
have poor service frequency and thus the opportunity to reduce pollution in Bristol is being missed.
FOSBR Rail Plan 2018 - 'A short walk, cycle or bus hop to your local station'…

1069] Filton Abbey Wood: (BLN 1302.702) Micro-microgricing alert! The presence of road-rail vehicles
on Fri 18 May suggested trackwork in the offing during that weekend's closure. The presence of freshly
ballasted track on the morning of Mon 21 May confirmed it had taken place, with dust thrown up by
trains entering P3. However it is not a major realignment, simply straightening P3 track somewhat on
the Bristol side towards the first overbridge, providing room for the track in the new P4, when built, to
become a fourth line towards Filton bank. For directionality fans, while P3 is currently used by Cardiff
bound trains it will (normally) be used for trains heading to Bristol Temple Meads when P4 opens.

1070] Axminster - Crewkerne: A £9.5M flood defence scheme has begun for December completion.
Two underground 550 tonne culvert section bridge structures will be installed beneath the line at Axe
Farm and Broom Lane. They will reduce the risk of flooding risk from once in five to once in 20 years.

1071] Seaton Junction: Plans for conversion of the station (CP 7 Mar 1966) into two apartments have
been approved. The fabric of the building will remain unchanged in appearance from the exterior.
A planning request for the demolition of the dairy building has been submitted. The Up side station
canopy now has a preservation order on it and will be restored to its former glory.

ABOVE: A 1961 'state of the art' train for Seaton at Seaton Junction. (Angus McDougall 30 Sep 1961)
BELOW LOWER: The main line platforms looking west the same day, note the coacting signals.

1305 WEST MIDLANDS (Brian Schindler) [email protected]
1072] Birmingham International: West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has approved funding
to work up plans to transform the station. The £286M project would integrate the current station with
the new HS2 Birmingham Interchange. As a step towards this WMCA signed off £9.27M for The Urban
Growth Company to progress design work. The agency says the work will help create what it calls the
UK Central Hub*, bringing together existing rail, future high speed rail with other forms of transport
and an automated people mover with 'seamless connections' to Birmingham Airport and the HS2
Interchange station by 2025. [*An area of Solihull near the M42 with Birmingham Airport, the NEC,
Jaguar Land Rover, Birmingham Business Park, Arden Cross and, from 2026, HS2 Interchange station.]

1073] Birmingham: On Bank Holiday Sat 26 May due to resignalling at Proof House Jn, Lifford West -
Lifford East Jn had what was possibly its best ever passenger service in one day. There were hourly
(reduced frequency) trains each way between New Street and: York (etc), also Nottingham and
Stansted Airport, six trains an hour in total. The 22.00 New Street to Leeds (16.25 ex-Penzance) and
22.55 New Street to Derby ran via Soho, Walsall and Sutton Park instead (as did the 15.00 Glasgow
Central to New Street via York) when Birmingham to Tamworth took 50 minutes instead of 13.

Also on 26 May during signal testing between Washwood Heath West Jn and Landor Street Jn
passenger trains were authorised to be routed over the Down Derby Goods if necessary (it was not).

1074] New Street Resignalling, Phase 6: From 29 May the following lines were due to be controlled by
the West Midlands Signalling Centre (Proof House Workstation Extended Area): Proof House Jn -
Hampton-in-Arden; Stechford South Jn - River Cole Viaduct (incl); Duddeston - Proof House Jn.

1075] Don't be Alarmed! Members desiring to light up their lives a bit might like to try visiting
Birmingham New Street station on a Wednesday at 11.00 for the weekly fire alarm test.

X.69] BELOW: 6Z46 15.00 Margam to AV Dawson Middlesbrough near Abbotswood Jn, an intermodal
working with containerised tanks. Coal tar is transported from Port Talbot Steelworks to Dawson's for
road transit to Koppers at Port Clarence for distillation (BLN 1303.838). (Rob Pritchard 21 May 2018)

1076] Bromsgrove: EMUs 323222 & 323206 made the first run under electric power from Barnt Green
Jn ECS on the evening of Sun 20 May to test the new OHLE, ahead of full electric service now expected
in July. Arrival from Soho Depot in P3 was at 20.24, returning to Birmingham New Street at 20.33.
On the second run from New Street they turned back in P1 (21.51/21.56) then, after another trip to
New Street, P2 was sampled (22.50/23.19) before returning to Soho. The fastest of the six 14m 26ch
runs was in 19¼ minutes non-stop, actually up the Lickey incline. This was the 22.16 from Bromsgrove
leaving 19 mins early reaching New Street 33 mins early (with few other trains on the line). Although
an average of about 44.4 mph this is significantly faster than scheduled non-stop CrossCountry trains!

An extensive series of SuX off-peak (DMU!) route learning specials have been running up and down the
Lickey between Bromsgrove and Barnt Green. Of note all workings to/from Bromsgrove will always be
double units (6-car) in case one fails on the Lickey incline. Bromsgrove will have three Cross City EMUs
an hour to/from Birmingham with two on Sundays. The hourly (more in the peaks) DMUs continue.

1077] Leamington Spa: From 09.31 on Sun 20 May all Up trains ran non-stop through the station on
the Up Cherwell Valley (previously the Up Main) middle line due to a broken switch blade which was
discovered on a routine patrol. Up trains could not access P3/4 (the latter has no booked passenger
use on a Sunday anyway). Normal working resumed the following morning after overnight repairs.

1078] Have you 'herd' the 'low' down? On Sat 12 May a member on his way to Stafford to join our
'565 Special Take 2' tour was on a train crawling past a herd of about 30 cattle on the Trent Valley line
near Rugeley. Fencing on the Cannock line had been damaged (apparently maliciously) in two places,
allowing the animals to escape. Once trains such as our member's had been cleared, the line was
closed for the trespassers to be rounded up. Most trains were diverted via Penkridge, including our
tour, which did not a-moos those who wanted the Nuneaton Up Relief. It is suspected that some such
word as bullocks was muttered but at least one 'steakholder' on board was not beefing about is as he
needed most of the Sutton Park line which was done! Of interest, due to the cattle, the 07.40 Rugeley
TV to New Street was 43 minutes late at Walsall so turned back at 08.56 in P2; leaving for Rugeley on
time at 09.06 (as our tour was passing through P1 - participants could only gaze at it longingly).
It then took the exceedingly rare trailing crossover north of the platform to the Down Walsall Slow.

1079] This Malvern Water was not Great: From the GWR Law, Parliamentary & Estate Committee
minutes 24 Jun 1908: In 1869 the GWR agreed to supply the then Malvern Link Hotel, later Malvern
Link School, with drinking water direct from springs in the nearby tunnel. De facto this water was being
sent elsewhere. The supply to the school was the drainage water from a loose jointed drain in the
tunnel, by then not used for drinking due to its deteriorating quality. Drinking water came from town
mains. It was agreed that the GWR would 'buy them out' to end the contract. (Our member notes that
train toilet discharge was direct onto the ballast and presumably included in the drainage water!)

[BLN 1305]
X.70] ABOVE: A GBRf Class 66 with a convoy of Colas locos (14.00 Bescot Up Engineer's Siding to
Westbury) that worked various Engineer's trains over the 26-28 May Bank Holiday. More than a mile
of track was relaid from Worcester Shrub Hill Jn through Foregate Steet P1 to Worcester Viaduct
(BLN 1303.861). 60096 was also involved but not in the convoy. Most of the trains were hauled (rather
than top & tailed) using a clever 'one way' system; arriving from Westbury via Hereford to enter the
possession at Henwick (using Worcester Foregate P2) then leaving for Bescot Yard via Droitwich Spa.

Photographed from the road bridge at Abbotswood Jn, looking south towards Cheltenham Spa at
15.38 on 28 May 2018. This view has only just become possible again because of devegetation in the
foreground. The 'feathers' on the signal, left foreground, are for the Worcester and Bromsgrove routes
going north. (Rob Pritchard)

1305 YORKSHIRE & NORTH HUMBERSIDE (Graeme Jolley; Geoff Blyth for North & East Yorks)

1080] The Derwent Valley Light Railway (DVLR): (BLN 1304.981 and map) By J Bowles from BLN Apr 1958.
This line was one of the last light railways to be built, and opened throughout (and to passengers) in July
1913, having been incorporated in 1907. The capital was £86,000; the former North Eastern Railway (NER)
subscribed £5,000. Working agreements were arranged with the NER, which have been continued by the
BTC (British Transport Commission) from 1948. The company therefore hires a locomotive from the BTC.

The line has always been successful for freight, but passenger traffic proved unprofitable from the start.
Attempts were made in 1925 with a petrol railcar similar to the Chichester & Selsey Tramway, but the
entire passenger service was withdrawn on 1 Sep 1926 after only 13 years of operation. Then the Derwent
Valley settled down to a regular daily freight service of one train a day each way - Mondays to Fridays.

Traffic today is heavier than one wouId expect in such a sparsely populated rural area. This is because the
railway handles considerable traffic in petrol and coal for the farms and villages en route. Winter traffic is
therefore heavier than summer; indeed, it appears that the 0-6-0 tender locomotive is barely powerful
enough for some of the winter trains. On my visit, arranged for the Transport Club of King Edward VI
Grammar School, Aston, Birmingham, [which your present BLN Editor attended from 1966-73, by which
time the Transport Club was defunct] we found that the train consisted of 20 vehicles of various kinds.

The daily freight leaves York (Layerthorpe) at about 10.30am arriving at Cliff Common at about 2pm
returning to Layerthorpe between 4.30pm and 5pm. Because of time we were only able to make the
return afternoon journey. The train on this occasion was marshalled with the 0-6-0 hauling the coal
wagons, followed by the petrol wagons, my† six-wheel coach (ex-Easingwold Railway), which members on
the Yorkshire Railtour* will have seen at Cliff** Common, and the DVLR's own six-wheel brake vehicle,
which has an attractive guard's lookout in the centre of the roof (picture e-BLN 1304). Behind this
impressive array came the four-wheel van ex-BR which is used daily for small items of luggage, etc. With
almost every vehicle of a different colour and size, the DVLR train looked refreshingly unorthodox and
presented the typical light railway flavour. Getting to Cliff Common is rather difficult since BR withdrew the
passenger service between Selby, Market Weighton and Driffield from 20 Sep 1954. That problem was
overcome by hiring a bus from the local operator at Bubwith. [†ie owned by the article's author, then BLS
member J Bowles. *Our first major BLS tour: 'The Yorkshireman' 2 Jun 1957 - see BLN1235.1297 & 1298.
** The 1960 BR Sectional Appendix has Cliff Common without an 'e'; the location does actually have one.]

We left Cliff Common at 2.20pm and, after passing two level crossings, ran into Skipwith station. Here a
crate of chicks was unloaded. We also noticed that the station was being repainted in the DVLR livery of
dark green and cream. From Skipwith the line passed through Thorganby, Cottingwith and Wheldrake
stations. We stopped at each of these and performed some loose shunting. At the next station, Elvington,
we stopped for a considerable time, both to raise steam before tackling the gradient to York and on
account of the remarkably fast run to Elvington and Dunnington. From Dunnington, we continued past
Dunnington Halt (disused since the withdrawal of the passenger service) and finally into Layerthorpe
station, York. A spur connects this with BR (British Railways).

Layerthorpe has an extensive goods yard, full of vehicles of all descriptions including a 4-wheel version of
the brake van. Two men were weeding the track by hand. Generally, it is no more weed covered than on
BR, but riding on it is remarkably smooth. The old Easingwold coach was certainly most comfortable to ride
in despite its age (c1880-90). For unspoilt views of rural scenery, much of it tree-lined, this line gives plenty
of opportunities really to appreciate the countryside. The stations are nearly all situated some distance
from the villages they service, which makes the profit from the line all the more remarkable. Two reasons
account for this profit, namely: (1): The railway is run by local people with local interests at heart. Several
of the shareholders and directors naturally live on the route. (2): The line is operated as a true light railway
with a most economical and quite adequate freight service. Tribute must go to the enthusiasm of the
Managing Directors and the General Manager, Mr SJ Reading who personally travels round the villages for
orders. The DVLR is a living proof that a light railway is not an uneconomical proposition today.

1958 Editorial note: In view of the Society's forthcoming trip over the Line on 17 May, due to new Ministry
of Transport regulations it is understood that passenger trains cannot now travel from York (BR) over the
Foss Islands branch. The trip will now start from Layerthorpe, but it is hoped to arrange a connecting bus.

[BLN 1305]
1081] Sheffield Tram Train: (BLN 1303.870) From 6 May, new infrastructure was brought into use:
•Rotherham Central: (4m 56ch) two 30m low level platforms on the Up/Down Tinsley lines for low
floor Class 399 Tram Trains. A 1m mesh fence in the six foot between platforms is to deter trespass.
•Parkgate: (0m 14ch) A new platform on the Down/Up Parkgate Tram Transfer line for Class 399 Tram
Trains. A 6ft palisade fence around this line deters trespass on to the adjacent Down/Up Tinsley lines.
•750V DC Overhead Line Equipment for use only by Class 399 Tram Train vehicles on: Tinsley North Jn
- Sheffield Tram Transfer line - Tinsley North Jn - Parkgate Jn - Parkgate Tram Transfer line (end of
line). A manual switch at 0m 15ch permits local de-energisation of the Parkgate Stabling Section.
•Signalling: There are new signals over the whole line with a Vehicle Identification Loop System.

In the early hours of 10 May the first gauging trial took place when tram-train 399202 ran onto the UK
national network. It traversed Sheffield Tram Transfer Line (BLN 1302.773) under electric power and
ran slowly to Magna Science Park, about a third of the way to Rotherham Central, before returning to
Nunnery Depot. Next morning DBC 66156 coupled up to test recovery procedures in case of failure on
NR tracks. Line testing and commissioning continues over the next few months; it is hoped services will
start in late summer - or September at the latest. However some construction work is still required,
especially at Rotherham Central Station where very little progress has been made in recent weeks.

1082] Pilmoor - Malton: BLN 1285.1528 (with a route map) stated: In summer 1937 there was also
[that is addition to the trains from/to Scotland and Newcastle] a daily train between Middlesbrough
and Scarborough via Gilling, to relieve the then heavily used and challenging coast route via Whitby...
In 1938 there were two such trains from Redcar and one from Middlesbrough. These ran again after
the war and continued until 1954.

Richard Maund has questioned if this was actually the case and has been researching this using:
•The working timetable collection at the National Railway Museum, York (denoted 'NRM York');
•The National Archives at Kew (denoted 'RAIL xxx') and
•His own collection of public timetables. They are presented in 'PSUL format' for each year below.

* = ran via Driffield; § = reversed at Scarborough Road and ran via Malton

Regular passenger services were withdrawn: Gilling - Scarborough Road Jn (Malton) CP 1 Jan 1931;
Malton - Driffield CP 5 Jun 1950; Bishophouse Jn (Pilmoor) - Gilling (- Kirbymoorside) CP 2 Feb 1953.

•16 June - 5 October 1947 (From public timetable: no working timetable available)
Pilmoor South (former Sessay Wood) - Sunbeck Jn (Pilmoor north curve) AND Gilling - Scarborough
Road Jn (Malton East)
Restoration of pre-war usage to Scarborough and a new Filey Holiday Camp service. No regularly
advertised Middlesbrough - Scarborough services via Gilling,
D 09.12 SO Glasgow - Scarborough Central (28 Jun 1947 - 30 Aug 1947) §
D 10.55 SO Scarborough Central - Glasgow (5 Jul 1947 - 6 Sep 1947) §
D 10.15 SO Newcastle - Filey Holiday Camp (21 June - 27 Sep 1947) *
D 08.35 SO Filey Holiday Camp - Newcastle (28 June - 4 Oct 1947) *

•North Eastern Region: 31 May - 26 September 1948
Pilmoor South (former Sessay Wood) - Sunbeck Jn (Pilmoor north curve) AND Gilling - Scarborough
Road Jn (Malton East)
No Middlesbrough - Scarborough services via Gilling.
D 10.25 SO Newcastle - Filey Holiday Camp (19 June - 4 Sep) *
D 09.15 SO Glasgow Queen Street - Scarborough Central (12 June - 28 Aug) §
D 08.35 SO Filey Holiday Camp - Newcastle (26 June - 11 Sep) *
D 10.55 SO Scarborough Central - Glasgow Queen Street Low Level (19 June - 4 Sep) §

[BLN 1305]

•23 May - 25 September 1949 (From public timetable: no working timetable available)
Pilmoor South (former Sessay Wood) - Sunbeck Jn (Pilmoor north curve) AND Gilling - Scarborough
Road Jn (Malton East)
No regularly advertised Middlesbrough - Scarborough services via Gilling.
D 10.25 SO Newcastle - Filey Holiday Camp (4 June - 3 Sep) *
D 11.15 SO Newcastle - Scarborough Central (2 July - 3 Sep) §
D 09.25 SO Glasgow Queen Street - Scarborough Central (11 June - 27 Aug) §
D 08.35 SO Filey Holiday Camp - Newcastle (11 June - 10 Sep) *
D 10.35 SO Scarborough Central - Newcastle (2 July - 3 Sep) §
D 10.55 SO Scarborough Central - Glasgow Queen Street Low Level (18 June - 3 Sep) §

•North Eastern Region: 5 June - 24 September 1950 (RAIL 941/2 - copied)
Pilmoor South (former Sessay Wood) - Sunbeck Jn (Pilmoor north curve) AND Gilling - Scarborough
Road Jn -Malton East AND (Malton) Scarborough Road Jn - Driffield
No regularly advertised Middlesbrough - Scarborough services via Gilling, but there were Q (as
required) paths as below. This was the last year of use of Scarborough Road Jn - Driffield (on which
local services had now ceased) by Newcastle - Filey Holiday Camp trains; they ran via York and Market
Weighton from 1951.
09.08 SSuX Middlesbrough - Scarborough Central (as required) §
07.07 SO Redcar East - Scarborough Central (as required) §
18.50 SuX Scarborough Central - Redcar East (as required) §
D 11.05 SO Newcastle - Scarborough Central (17 June - 2 Sep) §
D 09.15 SO Glasgow Queen Street - Scarborough Central (10 June - 26 Aug) §
D 10.35 SO Scarborough Central - Glasgow Queen Street Low Level (17 June - 2 Sep) §
D 10.55 SO Scarborough Central - Newcastle (17 June - 2 Sep) §
D 10.25 SO Newcastle - Filey Holiday Camp (10 June - 2 Sep) *
D 08.35 SO Filey Holiday Camp - Newcastle (17 June - 9 Sep) *

•18 June - 23 September 1951 (From public timetable: no working timetable available)
Pilmoor South - Sunbeck Jn (Pilmoor north curve) AND Gilling - Scarborough Road Jn -Malton East
First year of regularly advertised Middlesbrough - Scarborough services via Gilling. Newcastle - Filey
Holiday Camp trains ran via York and Market Weighton from this season.
D 09.08 SSuX Middlesbrough - Scarborough Central (16 July - 11 Aug)
D 18.55 SSuX Scarborough Central - Redcar East (16 July - 11 Aug)
D 11.05 SO Newcastle - Scarborough Central (23 June - 1 Sep)
D 09.20 SO Glasgow Queen Street - Scarborough Central (23 June - 25 Aug)
D 10.33 SO Scarborough Central - Glasgow Queen Street Low Level (23 June - 1 Sep)
D 10.55 SO Scarborough Central - Newcastle (23 June - 1 Sep)
(Malton) Scarborough Road Jn - Driffield
No passenger use after the summer 1950 season

•30 June - 14 September 1952 (From public timetable: no working timetable available)
Pilmoor South - Sunbeck Jn (Pilmoor north curve) AND Gilling - Scarborough Road Jn - Malton East
D 09.08 SSuX Middlesbrough - Scarborough Central (14 July - 29 Aug)
D 18.55 SSuX Scarborough Central - Redcar East (14 July - 29 Aug)
D 11.00 SO Newcastle - Scarborough Central (until 30 Aug)
D 09.20 SO Glasgow Queen Street - Scarborough Central (until 23 Aug)
D 10.33 SO Scarborough Central - Glasgow Queen Street Low Level (until 30 Aug)
D 10.55 SO Scarborough Central - Newcastle (until 30 Aug)

•North Eastern Operating Area: 8 June - 20 September 1953 (NRM York)
Pilmoor South - Sunbeck Jn - Gilling - Scarborough Road Jn - Malton East
Sunbeck Jn - Gilling local services had now ceased. The Scottish services were balanced by an overnight
working reversing at York
D 09.08 SSuX Middlesbrough - Scarborough Central (13 Jul - 21 Aug)
D 18.55 SSuX Scarborough Central - Middlesbrough (13 Jul - 21 Aug)
D 11.00 SO Newcastle - Scarborough Central (20 Jun - 5 Sep)
D 09.20 SO Glasgow Queen Street - Scarborough Central (20 Jun - 15Aug)
D 08.45 SO Scarborough Central - Edinburgh Waverley (11 Jul - 15 Aug)
D 10.33 SO Scarborough Central - Glasgow Queen Street Low Level (20 Jun - 5 Sep)
D 10.52 SO Scarborough Central - Newcastle (27 Jun - 12 Sep)

•North Eastern Operating Area: 14 June - 19 September 1954 (RAIL 914/17)
This was the last year of regularly advertised Teesside - Scarborough services via Gilling.
Middlesbrough traffic was covered by trains via Whitby West Cliff. The Scottish services were balanced
by an overnight working reversing at York
D 08.50 SSuX West Hartlepool - Scarborough Central (19 Jul - 20 Aug)
D 19.05 SSuX Scarborough Central - West Hartlepool (19 Jul - 20 Aug)
D 10.55 SO Newcastle - Scarborough Central (until 4 Sep)
D 09.20 SO Glasgow Queen Street - Scarborough Central (until 14 Aug)
D 07.20 SO Scarborough Central - Glasgow Queen Street Low Level (17 July - 14 Aug)
D 08.45 SO Scarborough Central - Edinburgh Waverley (10 Jul - 28 Aug)
D 10.33 SO Scarborough Central - Glasgow Queen Street Low Level (until 11 Sep)
D 10.52 SO Scarborough Central - Newcastle (26 Jun - 11 Sep)

•13 June - 18 September 1955 (From public timetable: no working timetable available)
The Scottish services were balanced by an overnight working reversing at York
D 11.09 SO Newcastle - Scarborough Central (until 3 Sep)
D 09.20 SO Glasgow Queen Street - Scarborough Central (until 13 Aug)
D 07.20 SO Scarborough Central - Glasgow Queen Street Low Level (16 July - 13 Aug)
D 08.08 SO Filey Holiday Camp - Scarborough Central - Edinburgh Waverley (9 Jul - 27 Aug)
D 10.3 SO Scarborough Central - Glasgow Queen Street Low Level (until 10 Sep)
D 10.52 SO Scarborough Central - Newcastle (25 Jun - 10 Sep)

1083] Bradford: (TRACKmaps Vol 2 p41; Oct 2016 ) From 28 May as part of the area resignalling new
points were to be installed (40m 12ch) on Line 'W' (west) and at 40m 15ch at the south end of P2. Both
are OOU until commissioning in Oct when they will be linked to form a new connection allowing access
to P2 from Line 'W'. Line 'W' is currently only available for arrivals in to P1. At the same time a new
trailing crossover will be installed (OOU) at 39m 66ch on the Halifax line, just south of the points at
39m 70ch which form the start of Line 'W'. They will allow Line 'W' to become bidirectional with
Halifax line movements to/from P1 & 2 clear of the Leeds lines (Line 'M' - middle and Line 'E' - east).

Hammerton Street Loop (191m 13ch - 190m 60ch) just outside the station on the Leeds line was
abolished from 23 April. The points each end of the loop were recovered. Can any member please say
(or check) if the associated facing/trailing crossovers are still in situ and working or clipped OOU?

1305 IRELAND (Martin Baumann) [email protected]
1084] Dublin Church Road Jn: (BLN 1230.644) The double track West Road Jn to Church Road Jn 11ch
link CA 30 Aug 2014 and during the Society's recent visit was noted to have been lifted. This has left
the double track line from Newcomen Jn to Docklands terminal station as an isolated branch. Church
Road Shunting Frame closed 12 Oct 2014. The freight only (and they certainly are in Ireland!) lines
from East Wall Jn and North Strand Road Jn remain in use leading to East Wall Sidings and beyond to
the Alexandra Road Tramway. The first 11ch is regularly used by ore trains from Navan, Tara Mines.

ABOVE: Dublin Church Road signal cabin. (Angus McDougall 9 Nov 1997)

1085] Dun Laoghaire: On Sun 27 May the two Up Sidings north of the station were permanently taken
OOU. The points that connected them to the Up Main were removed and plain lined as were the
points between Up Siding 1 and Up Siding 2. The associated signalling was decommissioned.

1086] Connolly: Later on 7 May your correspondent caught the 13.00 ex-Sligo, (at Maynooth) and was
pleased to alight at the short Connolly P1 not covered on our ''excellent'' Society tour the day before.

1087] Single Minded: On Sat 26 May there was Up Line single line working between Portarlington
facing crossover (Cork side of the station) and Portlaoise trailing crossover (Dublin side of the station).

1088] Bray: An (accidental) electrical fire destroyed a relay room at Bray on Fri 18 May. This led to
widespread disruption and a temporary timetable. Trains between Dalkey and Greystones were
suspended on the 19th and 20th. From Mon 21 to Fri 25 May a full DART service ran Howth/Malahide -
Dalkey with no rail services between Bray and Greystones. A limited bus transfer was available
between Greystones and Bray for DART services. A bus transfer was provided between Greystones
and Bray/Dun Laoghaire/Dublin Connolly for Rosslare/Wexford to Dublin services. An hourly service
was provided between Bray and Dalkey (but not in the evenings to allow for repairs). This required
single line pilotman working on the Up (northbound) track between Dalkey P1 (via the facing crossover
from Dublin) and Bray P1. All points at Bray are clamped so only a single route was possible.

Several EMU sets queued in Wicklow sidings (south of Bray on the Up side) to be fed into the route
without the need to move controlled points in Bray. All DART services were limited to 15 km/h (9 mph)
between Bray and Dalkey. There were no functioning signals between Bray Head and Killiney; level
crossing attendants were provided and signal phones were inoperative. Normal service resumed Sun
27 May with signalling temporarily controlled from Bray Emergency Control Panel and an 'emergency
operator' at Bray Level Crossing with everything working except for the local signal post telephones.

ABOVE: End of siding from north end of Dun Laoghaire Up platform. (Martin Baumann 12 May 2018)

1089] Property price rises are not stopping at stations: According to the latest research from ''
Dublin home buyers now pay a premium of over €100K to live near DART stations and Luas stops.
In the first quarter of 2018 house prices close to DART stations and Luas stops rose 4% to an average of
€492k which is €114k or 26% above the average Dublin asking price. South Dublin coastline commuters
on average pay €625k, the most for a property near a DART station. The '' research analysed the
average asking prices for two and three-bedroom properties close to each of the 125 stops and
stations in the Greater Dublin area.

1090] Dublin Luas: Initial teething and electrical problems with the new longer 54m Green Line trams
have been overcome and on 10 May five sets, 5027 to 5031, were in service during the evening peak.
On the morning of Bank Holiday Mon 7 May the facing point to the platforms at Broombridge had
stuck. Having been advised by Control the driver stopped at the point and left his cab armed with a
hefty point iron (lever), changed the offending point and ran in to the vacant platform allowing the
tram in the other platform to depart. An all day 15 minute service ran on the Red Line between The
Point and Tallaght the same day. Saggart was served by a shuttle from/to Belgard centre platform.

1091] Crumlin: The RPSI 15 May railtour was planned to run from Whitehead RPSI platform to Antrim
via Lisburn and Crumlin and then to Bangor, also via Crumlin, before returning to Whitehead RPSI.
Approaching Antrim steam loco 131 slipped to a stand near the home signal due to the track condition
and the sanders not working running tender first. It was eventually able to move into Antrim station
and left there 56 minutes late. To avoid disruption to service trains NIR control cancelled the Bangor
part of the tour and after arrival back at Lisburn it ran direct to Whitehead RPSI via Belfast Central.

BELOW: At Broombridge on 10 May 2018 (Chris Tottey)

[BLN 1305]

1092] Belfast (still) Central: Departures for the first 30 minute at the start of the evening rush hour:

•16.21 Great Victoria Street P2 •16.35 Bangor P1 •16.48 Bangor P3

•16.25 Carrickfergus P4 •16.41 Great Victoria Street P2 •16.49 Portadown P2

•16.28 Bangor P3 •16.44 Larne Harbour P3

•16.30 Portadown P2 •16.46 Coleraine P4

Nearly all crossovers and wrong line working to Lagan Jn on the Bangor line (ex-P1 & 2) are available!

1305 ISLE OF MAN (Graeme Jolley) [email protected]
1093] Groudle Glen: (MR p12) The railway has purchased a reverse osmosis plant to try and counter
the effects of the water supply which has been very detrimental to the boilers of the locomotives.

1305 SCOTLAND (Mike McCabe) [email protected]
1094] O Ye'll tak' the West Highland line, and I'll tak' the low line And I'll be in Scotland a'fore ye:
The West Highlands Line Review Group is to examine journey times and train frequency between
Helensburgh Upper, Oban, Fort William and Mallaig. The group includes Network Rail, ScotRail and
Hitrans (Highland & Islands Transport Partnership). The 163m 64ch from Mallaig to Glasgow Queen
Street takes over 5 hours. Oban (101m 15ch) is around 3 hours and now has seven trains a day (SSuX).

1095] Polmadie & Rutherglen: There was a further possession over late spring holiday weekend for
work on the resignalling project. The new layout and signalling are to be commissioned in two stages,
on 16 and 30 July. Rutherglen East, Central and West Jns are to be remodelled with bi-directional
signalling on the Up Slow Line from Polmadie Depot to Gantry 'H' at Bridge Street Jn. This will allow
line-speed increases at Rutherglen East and Central Jns. The OHLE neutral section on Rutherglen West
Curve will be relocated. Signals in the area are being changed to LED (which use much less electricity).

Rutherglen and Polmadie route interlockings will be replaced with a single Rutherglen Westlock
system interlocking. The area is already controlled from the West of Scotland Signalling Centre at
Cowlairs, but Polmadie Workstation is to be upgraded. Nov 2017 TRACKmaps appears to anticipate
these changes (well done Martyn!). Compare it with the previous (Dec 2007) edition. On 21 May, a
new set of trailing points was to be installed on the Down Slow Line (98m 56ch) adjacent to Rutherglen
CE Depot, OOU for commissioning 16 July. 942 points on the Up Clydesdale Line have been removed.

1096] Ardrossan Town: Yet another new type of level crossing has been opened and closed and
opened and closed (you get the picture) at Princes Street. It is an Automatic Full Barrier Crossing
Locally monitored (AFBCL) similar to the fairly common half barrier type. The train driver may proceed
over the crossing if a Drivers' White Light is exhibited, but he monitors the crossing. A Light Detection
And Ranging unit (LIDAR) on the crossing should detect any obstruction, and keep the exit barrier
raised. If this should fail, then the driver is able to open the exit barrier by using the Drivers' Release
Unit. It is anticipated that more of this type of crossing could be installed elsewhere in Britain.

1097] Live News: The first completed section of the Stirling to Dunblane and Alloa electrification
covers 26 track kilometres between Greenhill, Larbert and Polmont Jns including Falkirk Grahamston
and Camelon stations. It has been approved for passenger use following testing and proving over
19/20 May weekend. This is also now an electrified diversion for the main Edinburgh - Falkirk High -
Glasgow trains and an electrified route between Glasgow Queen Street, Cumbernauld and Falkirk
Grahamston. Unusually electrification of the Grangemouth branch for freight is taking place. Work
began Oct 2016 with vegetation clearance followed by sinking over 750 piled foundations, erecting
over 500 masts and running about 120km wires before the line was energised on 1 May this year.

On the Grangemouth branch electrification masts have been erected and there are various associated
signalling alterations - interestingly and most unusually semaphores are being retained at Fouldubs Jn.

ABOVE: The current very sad state of Ayr Station hotel, looking north, note the rather unusual arching
between the front and rear roof chimneys. Right is a Stranraer line DMU. (Greg Beecroft)

1098] Ayr restorer required? The station building is part of the ground floor of the former 71-bed
Station Hotel. It is owned by a Malaysian businessman, who reportedly paid £750k for it in 2010,
despite its very poor condition. £10M needs to be spent on basic repairs, with more to make the
building fit for any use. This has been causing increasing concern to NR and South Ayrshire Council.
NR has had to erect scaffolding and screening to reduce the risk to passengers and staff from falling
masonry. South Ayrshire Council served a 'Dangerous Building Notice' on the owner in March; matters
seem to be coming to a head. Now the Council could carry out safety-related work and try to recover
the cost from the owner. The owner's agent states that they are talking to 'very serious investors'.
It seems that student accommodation and shops are proposed. The Glasgow & South Western Railway
opened the hotel (now a Category B listed building) in June 1886. With nationalisation on 1 Jan 1948 it
became part of the British Transport Commission who sold it off in Oct 1951. The Station Hotel has
since changed hands several times; it is the oldest, most famous hotel in Ayr, retaining almost all its
original features inside and out. has many Feb 2018 interior/exterior photos.

1099] Loch Tay branch: The Killin to Loch Tay trackbed is a signposted almost entirely intact footpath.
Loch Tay station site is occupied by chalets with no public access. The main features of interest on the
line are the bridge over the River Lochay and Dochart Viaduct. The River Lochay bridge is plate girders
on concrete piers and abutments. Dochart Viaduct has five arches and is of masonry, with cast in-situ
concrete arch rings. The viaduct has a significant skew, so use of concrete would have been much
easier than brick or stone (the line opened in 1886). An information board by the viaduct records that
it was designed by John Strain and John Best was the contractor. Killin station site is a car park, bus
turning circle (six services to/from Callander SuX) and a highways depot. Various sections of trackbed
at the south end of the village have been incorporated into adjoining land and some bridges removed.

1100] Glasgow Queen Street: (E-BLN 1303.X55) The P1 end of line 50m extension begun in November
opened on 7 May. P1 has no regular booked use on Sundays. P2-5 will also be extended at the buffer
stop ends so that all platforms will take 8-cars. Concourse buildings are being demolished, the only
way to create space. Dedicated microgricers will need to redo every platform. Work continues to 2020.

ABOVE & BELOW: A new view of the Glasgow Queen Street Category 'A' listed train shed is revealed
as demolition of the concourse buildings progresses well. (Nick Lander 28 May 2018)

1101] Stirling work: Step-free access is to be created between P6 and 9. At present this is an exposed
walk, none too pleasant on a wet and windy day (What, in Scotland‽‽). The existing footbridge is to be
removed and refurbished. It will be raised for electrification and have a canopy when re-instated. A lift
will also be installed. The work is due to start soon and should take about six months. A temporary
bridge will be installed meantime. Stirling is a bright and airy traditional station, well worth visiting.

1102] Niddrie: The Niddrie West Jn to Niddrie South Jn Up line has been closed since 10 Apr due to an
old mine shaft opening up below it. The Down line is open so Up (eastbound) freight trains from the
Suburban line run to Brunstane at Niddrie West Jn then set back over the junction trailing crossover
(6m 30ch) to run wrong line to Newcraighall. Repairs were to start on 14 May and take up to 8 weeks.

1103] Kintore: (BLN 1271.3212) Plans have been lodged for a new two platform station (13m 29ch)
between Aberdeen and Inverurie which is being redoubled. It includes a footbridge and parking for
168 vehicles. It is (optimistically?) hoped that it will open in 2019 although a line closure is expected.

1104] Aberdeen - Dyce: During the 12 May to 19 Aug closure for (most of) the line to be redoubled,
five bridges will be modified and the line resignalled. Aberdeen to Inverurie should be half-hourly by
Dec 2019, with more Elgin to Inverness services. An hourly Aberdeen to Inverness service is the aim.

1105] Aberdeen Ferryhill: The 1906 constructed turntable has been lowered
into place after restoration at Kintore by Ferryhill Railway Heritage Trust over the past 18 months.

1106] Aberdeen - Stonehaven: Capacity is being improved south of Aberdeen too! Newtonhill box will
be abolished, with control passing to Aberdeen. A new trailing crossover will allow Up trains to leave
Craiginches Down Yard, without having to run round in Aberdeen station. Semaphore signals will be
replaced and new signals spaced to allow increased capacity. Completion is anticipated by Sep 2019.

1107] Panholes Crossing: This foot crossing near Blackford is to be replaced by a stepped footbridge
as the crossing is not interlocked with signalling, and as a prelude for possible electrification to Perth!

1108] Pitlochry: By 13 May the Up Siding was recovered and its points plain lined (platform extension).

X.71] Edinburgh Waverley: BELOW: Progress on the east end bay platform extensions for
Azuma trains (John Cameron 23 May 2018)

1109] Edinburgh Trams: The original contract was an extremely poor deal for the council which should
never have been made, an inquiry (itself costing £9M so far) has heard. Edinburgh trams were years
late, hundreds of millions of pounds over budget and on a shortened route. The eventual £776M bill
was over double the sum earmarked. The Edinburgh tram inquiry heard the main contractor's claims
that work to deal with utilities in the ground was the 'critical delaying factor' throughout the project.

1110] Thornton Jn - Levenmouth: (BLN 1246.2261) (CP 6 Oct 1969) Endorsing the reopening campaign
Bill Reeve, the Scottish Government's Transport Agency director of rail, said that the project deserves
proper scrutiny. Reopening the five mile branch should cost £37-56M - half the previous figure quoted
and less than half the cost per mile of the successful Borders Railway. It is thought the previous report
underestimated the social benefits. A half-hourly service to Edinburgh taking an hour is envisaged.

1111] Class 365: The first of 10 EMUs arrived at Glasgow Works by road on 22 Apr. The fleet is
expected to enter service soon, mainly as 8-car trains. They will help ease overcrowding caused by
delays to new Hitachi Class 385 trains, and four others leaving ScotRail as their leases have expired.
ScotRail has still to reach formal agreement to lease the trains, previously leased by Govia Thameslink.

1112] Glasgow Subway: The Subway scored very well in a recent Transport Focus survey. This was
carried out over a three month period on different days and times of day, to achieve a representative
sample of about 500 users. Overall satisfaction was 97%, with 95% satisfied with punctuality. However,
this may be a little misleading with such a frequent service on a very short line.

1305 WALES .NB: (Paul Stewart) covering. [email protected]
1113] Aberpergwm Au Revoir: (BLN 1301.651 & 1302.795) A member on the UKRT 10 March 'Valley of
the Witch' railtour saw a modern OS map showing a short section of the former
colliery branch in situ (the thinner line branch beneath the 'H' in 'NEATH'). The tour did reach the NR
boundary stop board at the site of the former Aberpergwm Colliery Jn (33m 14ch from Pontypool
Road via Aberdare!). However, he couldn't see from the train whether the fragment of line remained.

BELOW: From the UKRT 10 March 'Valley of the Witch' tour (stationary at the time). LEFT: Milepost
33¼ approaching Cwmgwrach. RIGHT: 33m 14ch the NR boundary, the line continues to the former
coal loading pad, the Aberpergwm branch used to go off to the left here. (Nick Jones 10 Mar 2018)

PREVIOUS PAGE UPPER: Track in place on the former Aberpergwm Colliery branch.
PREVIOUS PAGE LOWER: …and on the bridge over the River Neath. (Both Nick Jones 12 May 2018.)

Our keen conscientious member revisited on foot on 12 May. There is an informal riverside path
outside the railway fence from which it is evident that the line fragment is indeed still in situ. The other
remaining branch towards Unity mine is plain-lined but the Aberpergwm branch (with the 'other half'
of a crossover) continues left, buried under a fair amount of foliage and debris. It then continues north
on an embankment along the western perimeter of the Unity mine site before ending abruptly at
(SN 8602 0510) for the A465 dual carriageway, a metre or so higher than the railway. On the north side
of the A465, the track is intact across over the River Neath bridge (SN 8604 0520) but ends on the
north side. Through the fence, the Unity mine itself appeared abandoned and falling into dereliction.

1114] The cancellation of rail electrification in South Wales: In May the Parliamentary Welsh Affairs
Committee published this report. It recognises that electrifying Cardiff to Swansea would not improve
journey times due to speed restrictions but would reduce emissions. It recommends the £433M saved
be allocated to rail improvements in Wales, particularly straightening the main line to improve journey
times. Wales has 11% of the UK rail network but has only had 1.5% of the enhancement investment
since 2011. The recent 800 Virgin Media jobs lost from Swansea to Manchester (citing poor transport
links) is the type of economic loss that will continue with HS2 offering London to Manchester in 68 min
against 165 min to Swansea. KPMG estimates HS2 will cost 20,000 jobs in South Wales. Proposals for
Swansea Parkway station are criticised as undermining the economic status of the city region. The
merits/potential cost of the proposed Swansea Bay Metro should similarly be considered with care.

1115] Cylla (Penallta Colliery)/Penrhiwfelin Goods branch: (BLN 1304.987) From Cardiff East Docks
Cylla Branch Jn was 13m 72ch, Cylla 14m 18ch and the end of line at Penrhiwfelin Goods 15m 07ch.
It was the ex-GWR Maesycwmmer Jn to Penalltau Jn (with a 'u' and on the current Cwmbargoed
branch) section of the Pontypool Road to Vale of Neath and Neath line that crossed over the branch.

[BLN 1305]
A correspondent's childhood home overlooked the Cylla branch to Penallta (no 'u') Colliery where his
father worked. From the house the branch could be seen winding up the valley by the Cylla brook.
The explorer's comments about the yard near the Rhymney line junction are correct. There were six or
so sidings here where various goods wagons and coal trains were temporarily left. The Penallta
shunter did not work down there, but, with limited space at the colliery, incoming empties and wagons
with wooden pit props etc waited there for space. The colliery winding house has been cleaned up (!)
and converted into smart apartments an excellent outcome for a solid industrial building.

PREVIOUS PAGE: The interesting view of the branch in the valley from our correspondent's childhood
home, looking north towards the end of line. Penallta Colliery is on the hillside left, Ystrad Mynach is
off to the bottom left corner. (Robin Thomas with thanks to our member Edward Mann.)

BELOW LEFT: The final railtour to Penallta, the Monmouthshire Railway Society 'Trelewis Bog' in traditional South Wales railtour conditions (very wet!) on 16 Apr 1988. It did
well, and the Mile Post 15 (from Cardiff East Dock of course) suggests that the branch was a still
similar length to its original 15m 07ch. BELOW RIGHT: The then also traditional walk to the end of the
line. Sadly some of those pictured are no longer with us. (Both Simon Mortimer 16 Apr 1988.)

NEXT PAGE UPPER: Penallta Colliery Grade II listed Winding House, Winding Wheel Lane (honest, not
a wind up) has been converted in to flats. A two bed flat is for sale (£103K).

1116] Holywell Jn: (BLN 1303.900) From 13 May the facing connection in the Up Holyhead line leading
to the former Up Goods Loop with its trailing connection and the trailing connection between the Up
and Down Holyhead lines, all previously secured out of use, were due to be replaced with plain line.

MR93] 1305 MINOR RAILWAYS (Peter Scott) [email protected]

MINOR RAILWAYS - 30th EDITION - 2018 M R14 6]………….
SUPPLEMENT No.1 © Peter Scott May 2018



Mountsorrel Railway, Rothley, Leicestershire

5"/7¼" 1.02 4/17B Quarry SK570142 0116 237 4591
01387 376213
(Opened 24/10/15 - regular running now taking place) 01603 871694
00 353 65 9051284

Saughtree Station, Hawick, Scottish Borders §

7¼" 0.21 NBR NY565981

(Private line now included)


Top Field Light Railway, Whitwell & Reepham Station, Reepham

7¼" E 170yds TG092216 ♣

(New line opened 04/12/16)


West Clare Railway, Moyasta, Kilrush

3' E 1,400yds Q961585

(Line reported closed, but is still open)


65 Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust Amend length to: 0.62 (extension opened 10/03/18)

78 Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway Amend length to: 13.75 (Extension to Broadway
…….. opened 30/03/18)

13 Riverside Miniature Railway Amend layout to: O. Amend length to: 340yds (Extended 30/03/18)
16 Alexandra Park Miniature Railway Amend  to: 07548 648793
17 Hastings Miniature Railway Amend  to: 07789 725438

17 Acton Miniature Railway Delete entry (Line closed. Last ran 24/09/17)

17 Chingford Model Engineers Amend length to: 480yds (Line partly doubled c2016)

19 Fenn Bell Miniature Railway Delete entry (Line closed. Last ran 12/2017)

X.72] ABOVE: Awaiting departure for Cheltenham Racecourse at the superb Broadway station.
The pine trees, planted by the original GWR, are pathognomonic of the stations on the line and reveal
the site of Bishops Cleeve station north of Cheltenham. They are also found at some of the North
Warwick line stations such as Danzey. Ticket sales on the GWRS are reportedly 73% up on 2017 so far!
BELOW: Running round north of Broadway with the long headshunt/sidings towards ….Honeybourne.
The end of line is at the bridge, further on a double track bridge was fortunately (perhaps surprisingly),
provided over the trackbed for the Broadway bypass opened in 1998. (Richard Putley 27 May 2018)

[BLN 1305]
MR94] South Downs Light Railway, West Sussex (MR p25) (BLN 1028.MR205): This 10¼" gauge railway
runs in the grounds of Pulborough Garden Centre, just to the west of the Sussex town. Trains operate
from the one platform 'Stopham Road' station. After departure they do a circuit of the front of the
Garden Centre - pass through the station non-stop and then head out over a flat crossing, passing loco
and carriage sheds on the right. Next comes a steeply graded section through a deep cutting - just
after the summit there is a tunnel. Trains then run downhill back to the station. On a sunny Sunday
22 April a two train service was in operation, with 4-6-2 'Flying Scotsman' (J Mahoney/1935) and
0-4-2T 'Pulborough' (ESR/2004) at work. The adult fare was £2. The friendly volunteers kindly granted
a shed visit. Outside the shed was 0-4-2T 'Peggy' (ESR/2007), which had returned 'last week' from
overhaul at the Exmoor Steam Railway. In the shed where 2-6-0 13245 (P Howard/Crowhurst 1988)
which is serviceable and a Caledonian 4-4-0 in blue livery, which clearly was not!

A Bagnall loco was receiving attention in the workshop at the rear of the shed. A number of internal
combustion locos were also present. This is an interesting railway and a visit is recommended.
Trains operate from March to the end of September at weekends - but not Easter Sunday when the
Garden Centre is closed. Times are 11.00-12.30 and 13.30-15.30 (Note the hour break in the service at
lunch time). The Garden Centre is walkable from the National station and there is a good café on site.

MR95] Rother Valley Railway, East Sussex: is the Railway's Transport & Works
Act application in respect of Bodiam to Robertsbridge (3m 35ch). This is much more wide-ranging than
is usual for a heritage railway, including compulsory powers to acquire land and provisions relating to
new/reinstated level crossings (including the A21). Currently, two local farmers are refusing to sell
their land, in both cases it would be bisected by the reopened railway.

MR96] Shipley Glen Tramway, West Yorkshire (MR p32) (BLN 1247.MR210): Our correspondent made
a visit here some 30 years after his first visit. The 20" gauge Tramway was operating on demand and
was very busy, with a fare of £2.50 for a day rover with unlimited travel. There is a nice museum at the
bottom station, now with a purpose brick building replacing the old wooden structure. The tram cars
are red and blue open sided with roofs. At the top the old fairground has been swept away and several
houses have been built. A small display at the top station shows the old Japanese Gardens and Aerial
Glide in operation, which sadly are no longer. A true survivor from a bygone age, which has had more
than its fair share of problems with closures and reopenings. The latest was a washout at the bottom
station in 2016. The well mannered and helpful staff make this an interesting destination.

MR97] Buckinghamshire Railway Centre (MR p7): The centre held a Spring Gala on Sunday 6 and
Monday 7 May; a visit was duly made on the Bank Holiday Monday. With perfect warm sunny weather
and a clear blue sky the site was busy with a queue to enter. Adult admission was £13. Running on the
Down side line was Sentinel No11 4wVBT (S9366/1945) with either a brake van or three vintage
coaches. On the Up side line 9466 GWR 0-6-0PT and 0-6-0ST 'Brookes No1' (HE2387/1941) were taking
turns on three ex-BR MK1 coaches or a short goods train. 'Brookes No1' was visiting from the
Middleton Railway. A Chiltern Railway operated service was also running hourly to and from Aylesbury
for a fare of £7 return. A trip was taken on the 12.05 Quainton Road to Aylesbury and 12.35 return
with 2-car 165025. This used Aylesbury platform 2. However, the welcome surprise was that the train
ran via Aylesbury North Goods Loop in both directions. This is the only route for trains running north of
Aylesbury Vale Parkway (per Sectional Appendix), as the token cupboards are on that side of the line.

MR98] Bog Train, County Mayo (MR p27) (BLN 1301.MR55): The railway is now back in action after
repairs to the locomotive, which were carried just in time for running at Easter. Consideration is being
given to extending the line in two directions, so that it will leave beside the Heritage Centre, but also
be much closer to the lake. This second part of the project is a much bigger and complex extension.

NEXT PAGE: Volks Electric Railway, Cars 7 & 8 head east on a lovely sunny day. (Rod Bryant 21 April 2018)

MR99] Volks Electric Railway, East Sussex (MR p16) (BLN 1299.331): A visit was made on Saturday
21 April, coinciding with one of the hottest days of the year so far and a high performance car event
along the whole length of the Railway. A two train service was in operation with Car 9 on one train and
Cars 7 & 8 on the other. All trains were well patronised and running to a 15 minute service. The return
fare was £4.80 (£3.70 single) with the option to alight at Halfway, where the trains crossed. Over the
winter several sections of track have been relaid with new sleepers and ballast, the loop after leaving
Aquarium, previously out of use, has been recommissioned. All three loops are left hand running.
The Halfway depot building has been rebuilt and a new line added on the inward side of the formation.
Aquarium station has been rebuilt with a small café attached and a nice presentation about Magnus
Volk and his amazing electric Victorian railway. Well-worth a revisit for the discerning enthusiast.

MR100] Old MacDonald's Farm Railway, Cornwall (MR p14): This is in north Cornwall at Porthcothan,
between Newquay and Padstow. The railway is 7¼" gauge and a senior member visited on 25 April.
A steam outline 4w petrol locomotive was working an hourly service, on the hour. There was no extra
charge for the railway over the site admission charge (£7 Adult or Child; £5 Over 60, Disabled/Carer &
Cornwall Residents!). The Farm was very quiet, with very few visitors. The line is a simple circle with no
points and a wooden shed astride the track part-way round, doubling as a tunnel. A ride is two circuits,
although our member had three! His four-year-old grandson loved the train and the other attractions.

MR101] Bradford Model Engineers, West Yorkshire (MR p25) (BLN 953.MR204): This Society/Club has
its track site in Northcliffe Woods, Shipley. A dedicated member visited on Sunday 29 April - a rather
dull and cold afternoon. Rides on the ground level track commenced at around 13.30 with one club
member in attendance using the club loco - a green petrol 0-6-0 numbered D2342 with three blue
open carriages. A double circuit was made for a donation fare. Trains operated on request and
passengers were few. Over the winter the elevated line had been rebuilt in time for the Easter
opening, but this was cancelled due to the heavy rain and waterlogged site. Trains operate here on
most Sunday afternoons - weather dependent - with a gala in the summer (see website for events).

ABOVE: Bradford Model Engineers: Passengers are few in this view of the station in
Northcliffe Woods. (Rod Bryant 20 April 2018)

MR102] Littlehampton Miniature Railway, West Sussex (MR p25) (BLN 1289.MR177): A visit was
made to this 12¼" gauge line on Saturday 21 April. The railway was well supported with many families
taking a ride. A 'Toby' tram style loco was in use named 'Daisy' hauling three open sided carriages.
Also in use was 'Philippa' a 4wDH in smart Red livery with yellow lining. Fares were £2 per single trip.
Over the winter the track layout at Mewsbrook Park was altered with a lot of sleeper replacements
taking place. A delightful seaside miniature railway survivor from a bygone age; a visit is recommended
if you are in the area. Also nearby is the Littlehampton boat train ride, which was also operating.

MR103] Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway (R&ER), Cumbria (MR p14) (BLN 1272.MR1): A visit was
made to this well-known 15" gauge railway on 15 April - a gloomy Sunday. All trains were very lightly
loaded - our reporter's train was the 12.10 from Ravenglass, which left from platform 3 hauled by
4w-4wDH 'Lady Wakefield' (built at Ravenglass in 1980) hauling 8 coaches. It was a very pleasant ride
up the valley and a new section of track was noted around Murthwaite P W Depot, which has been
relaid and slewed onto a slightly new formation with a new run-round loop. Arrival at Dalegarth was in
the left hand platform. His return was on the 13.30 back to Ravenglass - arriving at Dalegarth was 2-6-2
'Northern Rock' (Ravenglass 1976) with another lightly loaded train. On the journey back the newly
restored Krauss loco to be named 'Whillan Beck' in smart Blue livery was passed. At Ravenglass there
is a very nice refreshment room and even better Museum (BLN 1290.2102), fully restored and well-
worth a visit with some very rare old artefacts. Car parking is £4 for the day. Through Anytime or Off
Peak Day Return train tickets to Ravenglass with an R&ER add-on saves £4. 'Lakes', 'Cumbrian Coast',
and 'Cumbria' Day Rangers or a 'Cumbria Round Robin' ticket give a 10% discount on all R&ER tickets.

ABOVE: Littlehampton Miniature Railway: 'Philippa' at Mewsbrook Park, with 'Daisy' in the distance.
(Rod Bryant 21 April 2018)

MR104] South Devon Railway, Devon (MR p6): The Railway was fined £40,000 at Newton Abbot
Magistrates' Court on 14 May after they admitted putting passengers at risk by failing to adequately
bar entry to a toilet cubicle, which was missing a floor. The court heard that Anna Patch's three year-
old son narrowly escaped serious injury on 22 June 2017 when he fell through the missing floor and
had to be snatched to safety by his mother with his feet within inches of the rotating wheel below.
The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) investigation discovered that the entire toilet cubicle floor had been
missing since 2 April and that an 'Out of Use' sign had been pinned to the door and an attempt made
to secure the door with two screws when the carriage was put back into service around 14 April.

However, there were no ongoing checks to ensure that the door remained secure and staff working on
the train were not informed of the missing floor. The carriage required structural repair and the ORR
argued that it only remained in service once this issue was discovered because the busy Easter period
was nearing when the company would normally run nine round trips a day. ORR, which brought the
prosecution under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work 1974, found that at some point
between 5 April and 22 June, the screws broke along with the door post meaning that the door could
easily be opened. It also found that the company, which continued using the carriage for three days
after the incident, had an inadequate Safety Management System in place, which was approximately
10 years out of date and not fit for purpose. ORR served an Improvement Notice in July 2017 requiring
the company to put in place an established Safety Management System.

NEXT PAGE: Amberley Museum Railway: The unusual train formation is seen at Cragside station.
(Peter Scott 5 May 2018)

MR105] Amberley Museum Railway, West Sussex (MR p25) (BLN 1294.MR234): A visit was made to
Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre on Bank Holiday Saturday, 5 May. On arrival, at around 10.45,
the lady at the entrance desk informed our visitors that the railway was not currently running due to
'problems'. However, there is much else to see at this interesting site. Operating through the site
giving rides were a single deck Wilts & Dorset bus and a 'double-headed' horse & cart. In recent years
the Lime Kiln and surrounding area has been restored and opened up. It is now home to a short
standard gauge railway system (but no rides!) on which at certain times 4wDM 'Burt' (MR9019/1950)
is demonstrated. On this day 'Burt' was locked up in his new shed at one end of the line. Elsewhere,
the 2ft gauge branch into the Timber Yard has been lifted apart from a short spur off the running line
near Amberley station. At around 12.00, a train could be heard running and sure enough a train had
just arrived at Cragside station. The driver told our members that departure would be in 'five minutes'.
The train was formed of 4wBE (WR4998/1953) and 2w-2 trailer (Wkm 3403/1943). The loco was driven

from inside the trailer and seating was limited to about 10 passengers. This was not a problem on the
trip down to Amberley station (near the entrance) as our two members were the only passengers.
The return trip, however, was full. Rides were free but donations were welcomed.
Museum admission is £14 for the first adult with Gift Aid of £3.50 on top (£12.50 without), £13/£11.50
for additional adults respectively or solo over 60s; the first child (4-15) is £8/£7 and subsequent ones
£7/£6. There is a small deduction for arriving by train and further discounts for groups of 10 or more!
The independent museum is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 7 March until 28 October 2018.

1305 FIXTURES REPORTS (Paul Stewart) [email protected]

ABOVE: Bronwydd Arms with our party on the platform, 'Abigail' is at the other end. (Rowland Pittard)
1117] Gwili Railway, Abigail's Outing, Sat 21 Apr: A full party of members met at Bronwydd Arms for
a 09.45 special to Abergwili Junction. Unfortunately the stock had not been marshalled as filming by
Warner Brothers at the railway the previous day was not completed until 20.00. For the same reason
the dining set was in the platform and not in the station loop and had to be pushed north out of the
platform by Class 03 D2178 and hauled into the north end of the loop. Ruston 88DM No312433
'Abigail' brought Toad brake van 68465 and Weltrol 42115 (once a bridge vehicle at Fishguard
Harbour) into the platform from the south siding through the level crossing. After D2178 had raised
enough vacuum to stable the coaches it joined the south end of the train. The Weltrol had been used
by Warner Brothers to move a generator to Abergwili where a security guard was still looking after it.

Eventual departure was at 10.20 with an arrival at the Abergwili Junction north point at 10.35.
The train then became the first carrying passengers to run into the loop where coach 24825 (used as a
mess vehicle by Warner Brothers) was stabled. It was attached to D2178 and pushed by the train as far
south in the loop as possible, but not beyond the south point, the train reversed with the coach in tow
to the north point and then entered the platform where there was time for photographs. The consist
moved south to the head shunt (another passenger first) but the Toad with our party did not reach the
south point due to the aforementioned coach. The special left Abergwili Junction at 11.18 and back at
Bronwydd Arms it reversed into the south siding completing 'Abigail's' first ever passenger working.

The Gwili DMU arrived empty from Llwyfan Cerrig and left for Danycoed at 11.50 (50 minutes late).
It was not possible to enter the loop at the latter due to the sharp curve after the south points.
The DMU returned to Bronwydd Arms and continued to Abergwili Junction. First it entered the loop
and almost reached the south point and after reversing back to the north point entered the platform
and, following photographs, ran into the head shunt as far as the stop board crossing the south point.
The DMU was experiencing fuel supply problems which hindered progress at times. As a result the last
DMU trip was cancelled at Bronwydd Arms and D2178 worked forward to Abergwili Junction instead
with the Weltrol and Toad. The train stabled in the platform while the diesel ran round. Arrival back in
Bronwydd Arms was in time for the booked Routemaster bus connection at 16.35 to Carmarthen.

The highlight of the visit was 'Abigail' hauling her first passenger train. The ambition of completing the
loop at Abergwili was not achieved due to circumstances on the day. However it could be called the
tip of an iceberg as there is much more non-passenger track on the railway that could be covered.
Our reporter feels the Gwili would be willing to allow a much more thorough tour. (Rowland Pittard)

BELOW: A very well travelled (blue) Society mini-headboard at Kaskinen, Finland. (Iain Scotchman)

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